23 November – 4 January 2020 at Northern Stage
Beneath the Christmassy moon, under the snowy mountains, amongst a flock of woolly sheep, Jack is bored. Bored of watching sheep, bored of counting sheep but most importantly bored of SHEEP! Down in the village just a whisper of a wolf will cause a panic… Join us for a wintery adventure and find out what happens when Jack cries WOLF!
I can’t quite believe this is the first under 5 show I’ve seen at Northern Stage. We’re regulars to their main Christmas performance but for one reason or another I haven’t ventured to the early years show. And what a mistake that was! I have three girls, aged 8, 6 and 1 and I really should have taken the whole family not just the youngest.
Kitchen Zoo do promote the show as a ‘family’ show and it really is. We went during the week and we were joined by a nursery group who were all taking part, dancing, clapping, whispering and singing, it was great to watch.
Wolf! is a two man show, by Kitchen Zoo theatre makers Bob Nicholson and Hannah Goudie-Hunter. The story follows young Jack who is new to shepherding and quite honestly bored. The two actors take on many guises and there’s humour in it for all ages. There’s original music from Katie Doherty, which is incredibly catchy and has you up on your feet, and also an uncanny coincidence that she is married to a sheep farmer.
I was concerned my 1 year old would be too young, but the staging is incredibly relaxed there are chairs at the back or you can sit on the floor. And while she sat on my knee glued to the lights and sheep at the beginning she soon warmed up and was happy crawling and shuffling around on her bottom. It’s lovely to be in a relaxed environment like that as a parent and for it be ok. Northern Stage itself also has baby changefacilities, space to park your buggy, a lift and a child friendly menu in their café which is a bonus!
My daughter loved the sheep puppets, which you also get to meet after the show and she really was captivated by the sound effects and songs, laughing and wiggling along. We really loved the snow and glitter ball effects it was incredibly visual for her. Wolf really was the perfect first theatre experience and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on future productions from Kitchen Zoo and Northern Stage’s Early Years programme. The show itself only lasted 45 minutes which is an ideal length for little ones. Personally, I also liked that it was a nice wintery tale, no mention of Santa or Christmas, just a good story for young ones to follow.
Tickets start from £8 for children and £10 for adults and are available from www.northernstage.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0191 230 5151.
Recommended for under 5s and their families.
Dates & Times: Saturday 23 November 2019 until Saturday 4 January 2020 (times vary)
Images: Von Fox Promotions
Review: @northernmam on Instagram