This Easter we were very lucky to have tickets to head along to the Charter Theatre in Preston for a showing of Dear Zoo Live! Dear Zoo, celebrating it’s 35th year, has hit the stage for the first time. And with fantastic props, a great storyline and some great audience interaction, it’s the ideal place to take your little ones this Spring.
The start of the show
We head to the afternoon show at 2pm and took our very fortunate seats centre stage on the first row. I say took our seats – Spike didn’t want to sit in her seat as it kept trying to flip back up with her weighing so little.
With it being Spike’s first theatre trip she wasn’t sure what to expect. When the lights went down she was a bit shocked, but when Sam the zoo delivery driver came on stage to say hello she got a bit happier!
The Dear Zoo Live storyline
Anyone who knows the class lift the flap book, Dear Zoo, knows that its all about a child who writes to the zoo asking for a pet. They send a variety of pets which for various reasons weren’t suitable, so the child sends them back.
The story is brought to life with two friends, Ben and Sally, writing to the zoo for their ideal pet from Ben’s Garden. Sam the zoo delivery driver delivered each ‘pet’. Then Ben and Sally would sing about it, and the reasons why they can’t keep it.
Each animal spoke or sang, and the majority of them were made of 2D pieces that moved while this happened. The snake, monkey and frog were puppets though, which made Spike a bit more frighted, especially the jumping frog.
All the way through there was encouragement for children to join in. Whether it was shouting yes or no about the animals, telling Ben and Sally about what was wrong with the animals or saying bye to Sam or the animals.
During the frog’s visit to Ben’s garden the children in the audience were encouraged to get up and jump like a frog. This was to get the frog back into its box apparently, and was so cute!
Value for money
The show was on for 50-55 mins, with no interval. It was just the right amount of time for the majority of children in the audience. I know that Spike did. She got excited whenever one animal was taken back to the zoo, thinking about what would be next. For £14 a ticket its the same amount as a normal theatre show would be. Without the added extra that big name stars like Peppa pig and the Teletubbies generate, of course. Spike loved the fun and interactive show and there were lots of kids of all ages that I could tell enjoyed it too!
It was a fun enough show for the adults too. I enjoyed seeing Spike’s reactions to all the different animals. It was a great way to spend our Saturday afternoon. Especially as otherwise it would have been spent sitting at home with Spike trashing the place. It was adorable whenever the animals left because she kept asking what would be next. Plus, I think the puppy at the end has helped eased her doggy fears! I would definitely recommend heading along to a show if its coming to a city near you!
And if I can’t convince you, maybe the trailer can: