This show is a stage adaption of Julia Donaldson’s popular book about the healthy, handsome and happy stickman who lives in the forest with his stick lady love (it’s unclear whether sticks can get married) and stick children three.
The performance uses live music and has plenty of action and games for the kids to join in with. Alex Scheffler’s interpretation of deep winter is kept, with the steely blue sky and Bruegel-esq trees jutting out of the snow.
As the original illustrations highlight, children love simple, clear visuals. They lack the ability of artistic directors to interpret; show a child a Monet and they will ask why the woman doesn’t have a face, or the trees are all squiggly. Unfortunately, Stickman is not represented by an actor in a costume – the best plan, as any child who has been to a theme park will tell you. Instead he is represented by the cop-out of an actor bounding around the stage with a model of the character in hand. This, along with the abstract representations of nature, doesn’t sit well with the under 5s and comes across as rather wooden.