What The Ladybird Heard is based on the children’s picture book, written by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. This relatively short story has been cleverly padded out to fill an hour on stage by spending the first 20 minutes or so with the cast waiting for Dave to turn up in his lorry with all the animals for the show. When he fails to arrive, the cast decide to make all the farmyard animals out of junk they find. A bicycle becomes a horse, a wheelbarrow becomes and pig and luckily the cow and the cats are already there!
In the story we see Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh who are determined to steal the farmers award winning cow and hatch a plan to sneak her out of the farm. The Ladybird overhears their conversation and warns the animals what is about to happen. The animals on the farm all group together and save the day!
The set it lovely, bright and colourful and keeps the young audience focused on what is happening. Towards the end of the show, audience participation keeps the children engaged in the show (something hard to do with three-year-olds). The simple, catchy songs are well written for three year olds and help to teach children about the different sounds that farmyard animals make.
The sound in the beautiful Cadogan Hall was disappointing. None of the microphones were loud enough and one failed to work at all for the first 20 minutes, despite the actor going off stage at least three times. This was annoying and shoddy but technical issues happen and so I won’t let this bring the review down.
I’ve seen quite a few children’s shows recently (its that time of the year again!) and this is one of the better, more well thought out ones.
Reviewed by West End Wilma