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Published on August 18th, 2017 | 191 Views

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Review: What the Ladybird Heard Live for a joyous family theatre experience

‘If you come to the show, Daddy, you could join on stage!’

Four-year-old Big Girl was immensely impressed by the show we had been invited to see today – What the Ladybird Heard – and at dinner she tried to convince Daddy T to go too, trying to sell it with the fact that he could have a shot at being an actor in a children’s theatre show.

The reason was that the stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s and Lydia Monks’ What the Ladybird Heard is filled to the rim with audience interaction, and at the beginning of the show the actors pretend to look for a tall dad who can play one of the robbers in the story. The choice lands on a man who appears to be working at the theatre, but is clearly part of the acting group.

Big Girl found it hilarious, however, and it was just one of many times we all giggled during the one-hour show.

What the Ladybird Heard tells the story about a farmer who has a fine prize cow that two robbers–Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len–want to steal. The ladybird hears the robbers’ plan, and comes up with a way for the animals on the farm to work together to save the cow.

The book itself is one of my children’s favourite books, and the show has now become one of my favourite children’s theatre shows for a young audience. It was a joy to watch from start to finish, with catchy songs, cute puppets and what felt like the right amount of audience interaction putting a smile on not only the children’s faces but mine too. The colourful props in the show resembled illustrations in the book, and the way the animals were presented sparked the children’s imagination.

In fact, as soon as we walked out of the theatre Big Girl asked me if I could find some farmer clothes for Big Boy to wear, as she needed him to be the farmer when they were going to play What a Ladybird Heard at home.

This was a great way to start a summer day with kids in London!


What the Ladybird Heard is playing at Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue for a limited summer run until 10 September. Tickets start from £14.50, and there is buggy parking by the entrance to the theatre

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