REVIEW: HOW TO HIDE A LION (Polka Theatre) ★★★★★
Not being a parent myself, I’ve never been to the Polka Theatre for Children (despite it being at the end of my road). However 18 months ago my sister had an absolutely beautiful baby boy and he’s now at the age where things are more than just colours and shapes so it was time for him to be introduced to the world of theatre. And the Polka Theatre is absolutely the most perfect place to introduce your children to theatre.
From the outset this theatre is perfect. The foyer is full of toys and spaces to run around in, no judgement for little tikes that want to scream. From the extremely helpful box office staff to the understanding ushers, the whole theatre experience was incredibly welcoming. But what about the show?
HOW TO HIDE A LION is based on the book by Helen Stephens and is housed in the pocket-sized Adventure Theatre. Normally suitable for 3-7 year olds, this was a specially adapted performance for 1-2 year olds. It is perfectly pitched for little ones and staged so that they can wiggle on the floor when sitting just doesn’t cut it anymore.
The story is absolutely delightful. A Lion comes to town but no one in the town wants him there as they’re too busy admiring their town’s golden candlestick (trust me, it’s a thing). Except one little girl who makes friends with him and proceeds to answer the question how do you hide a Lion? Told by two hat shop owners (Clare Rebekah Pointing and Phil Yarrow) through gorgeous puppets and mini models, How to Hide a Lion is a magical show full of twinkly moments that melts the heart.
Together Peter Glanville’s direction, Laura McEwan’s set design and Samuel Wyer’s puppet design all combine to create a perfect children’s show. For me I was delighted by walking into the theatre and finding a multitude of hats hanging from the ceiling, but for my nephew it was the jazz songs and score that had him giggling and wiggling with a smile on his face.
Honestly, I don’t think the Polka Theatre could have done more to make this a memorable afternoon. Except maybe real Lions.
Reviewed by Roz Carter
HOW TO HIDE A LION plays at the Polka Theatre until 26 February 2017