Emily Brown and The Thing on StageYesterday we went off to the Lowry Theatre in Salford to see one of their half term plays. Emily Brown and the Thing is based on the book of the same name by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton. While we don't have this book in our collection we do have 'Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency' and Emily and Stanleys adventures are a favourite of Bud's so we were keen to see the show.
Emily Brown and the Thing is the latest production from Tall Stories. A touring theatre company who have been staging a wide range of children's shows including Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale.
The story sees Emily Brown and her old grey rabbit Stanley, struggling to sleep after a day full of adventures. Every time they are just about to drop off they are disturbed by an upset 'Thing' who can't sleep. Emily and Stanley set off on a range of missions to help the Thing to feel better but, perhaps there is an underlying cause for his sleeplessness?
A vivid mix of music, acting and puppetry tells the story with the cast of three displaying masses of energy and really engaging their audience. Emily Brown is played by Anna Wheatley and ably supported by Sam Donovan as Stanley (my favourite) and Chris Gunter as The Thing. Anna Wheatley really captures Emily Brown's much loved character and I think few fans of the book would be disappointed by her portrayal. I was a little unclear as to how Stanley and the Thing would be portrayed but the way in which acting and puppetry is combined is brilliant, really seamless and made the production even more fascinating for my four year old.
The show was a real hit with the children in the audience, there were a few scary bits, one of which made LM almost jump off my knee but the recommended age of 3+ is spot on. Bud loved the show and has requested the book.. He was utterly entranced by it and hasn't stopped talking about it since!
Emily Brown and the Thing is part of the Salford and Trafford Family Arts Festival which is on across the area until 2nd November. There are masses of different activities across various arts venues and museums. check out the Family Festival listings to find out more.