The enchanting world of Sarah and Duck is brought to life in a brand new stage show, featuring the wonderful characters from the BAFTA award winning CBeebies show.
Join Sarah and Duck and a host of your favourite friends including The Ribbon Sisters, The Shallots, John and Flamingo and Umbrella, as they plan a birthday party for Scarf Lady in their garden.
Told through a fantastic blend of puppetry, storytelling and music, the Sarah and Duck stage show will take you and your children on a magical adventure.
Sunday 3pm, Monday 11am & 3pm.
Nottingham Playhouse invited us to see Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday on Monday 12th June 2017 at 11am.
We should probably mention that we in the Mumsnet Nottingham review household have loved Sarah & Duck, the CBeebies cartoon following the gently extraordinary experiences of a green-hatted girl and her duck, for three years. To balance our super-fandom with a less familiar perspective, we were ably assisted by a two-year-old novice.
Everything about this production was familiar to fans; the set, characters, voices (all pre-recorded) and scene-setting music. All except for four puppeteers. They took a moment to introduce themselves, in a weather-themed opening scene. Formalities complete, the story began.
Sarah & Duck were finding out about the weather. It was windy and what was that in the sky? Scarf Lady was flying her hot air balloon, looking out for her birthday – approaching the next day. An encounter with the Ribbon Sisters, reading about circuses, gave Sarah an idea. One by one she and Duck invited each of their friends to perform a turn, in a big-top birthday party-soiree-do. The Shallots performed acrobatics, Umbrella knew a magic trick. John could do a fast-slow dance, while Flamingo demonstrated her best balancing. Moon would do his best to get there from work. Sarah would be compere, with her whimsical sort-of-funny seven-year-old’s jokes, while Duck… Duck would be fired out of a cannon, to perform an amazing flying feat.
Tent construction required some effort from the puppeteers, helpfully directed by the narrator (and again, after it blew down). After a starry night spent waiting and stargazing – at some unusual constellations – the day dawned, guests arrived and it was showtime. Applauding each act made us feel part of an intimate performance. Audience participation was, in keeping with the show and our age-profile, simple and often unprompted.
For those familiar with the source material, Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday offered a delightful parade of favourite characters and a fitting finale with Sarah’s ‘fireworks dance’. Those less familiar didn’t need to understand why Bug played a tiny woollen trumpet, Umbrella was afraid of the rain, or Cake sang ‘happy birthday today’. Gently surreal discovery, wonder and friendship are the perpetual themes of Sarah & Duck.
Extension to fill an hour-long performance altered the show’s pace a little, with more back-to-back action than usual, before Sarah and Duck were able to retire for a quiet sit and think. There was no question about the characters’ authenticity though. Child-sized Sarah, companiable Duck, costumed Scarf Lady, her talking Bag and the set too, seemed straight out of the cartoon.
Our adviser was enthralled throughout. She especially enjoyed Duck’s bun guzzling part in Umbrella’s trick, bubbles blowing across the stage as Duck visited the penguins, Flamingo’s tight-rope walk and, the sparkling lights of the night sky. For her, saying goodbye came too soon.
Thoroughly recommended to anyone aged 1-5 and able to sit still-ish for about an hour.
CG with MD for Mumsnet Nottingham
Times and prices are subject to change. Contact venue before setting out.
Event contact: No name specified
0115 941 9419