Review: We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Live at The Lowry

Most parents, grandparents or indeed anyone who has read a child a bedtime story will have come across the well-known kids favourite ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.

Written by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, the catchy tale about a family on an adventure to find a big furry creature never fails to stay in your head long after the last page is turned.

Now the characters have been brought to life for young audiences and it’s enjoying a hugely successful stage tour up and down the country. The Lowry in Salford is home to the ‘Bear Hunt’ until 1st September providing a real treat for families over the Summer Holidays.

Direct from London’s West End the smash-hit production has Tim Hibberd, Hannah Donelon, Benjamin Hills and Artie Gooden at the helm of it, and what an energetic and talented bunch they are!

The four-strong cast sing, dance, move puppets and play musical instruments for the non-stop 55 minute duration (perfect timing for small attention spans). There’s audience participation galore, from joining in with the singing to experiencing the spray of the water as the family ‘splash splosh’ through the river.

The whole production is a truly enjoyable feast for both kids and adults alike, who can’t get enough of the joyous performances. One of the stand-out performers is the uber versatile Benjamin Hills who plays dog ‘Buddy’ and shows off his impressive musical talent by playing what seems like every instrument under the sun.

Laughter, squeals of delight and smiling faces from the mini theatregoers proves ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Live’ gets a huge thumbs up. It’s a big challenge to transform any popular book into a stage show but this one, adapted and directed by Sally Cookson, has nailed it.

And, if you’re worried that the ‘Bear’ in question might be scary for the little ‘uns, fear not as when it is finally revealed not only is it the cutest big bear you will have ever seen but it also dances too.

It’s hard to tell who gave it the biggest cheer, the young fans or the old ones! A fabulous theatre show for all the family.

Runs at The Lowry, Salford until 1st August

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