On Wednesday we went to the Gala Theatre Durham to see the brand new stage adaptation of Tabby McTat.
The story of Tabby McTat is based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler. Brought to the theatre by Freckle Productions.
It is a much-loved story in our house and we also have the audiobook. Tabby McTat is a busker’s cat with the loudest of meows. He sings all day long with his best friend Fred, until one day they get separated. Tabby meets a lady cat and sets up a new life with all the home comforts a cat could dream of (they even have kittens!) However, Tabby misses his old friend, Fred, and heads off to find him, finding a brass band amongst other things on the way!
A lovely heart-warming story that I would recommend to all children.
It was brought to stage by 4 friendly faced, energetic actors, wearing a different hat, at different points in the story in order to signify their character. This was explained to us all and easy for the children to follow along.
They were very engaging, there was plenty of singing along, and a good bit of ‘he’s over there’ while all the children shout and point. There was also some very funny inventive puppetry when recreating the brass band!
The story was told in words and songs, with music and lights. There were the usual songs from the book and also some new songs which were easy to follow along.
There were no costume or scene changes which kept it very simple. This was possibly the only disappointing bit for me, however the production worked perfectly well was it was.
The theatre was packed out with primary school children and pre schoolers as well as some babies. There weren’t any scary bits, or loud noises. My just turned 3 year old who can be quite shy, really enjoyed it, and it was a great first introduction to the theatre. He even picked up a flyer for a Christmas event on the way out so I think we’ll be back soon!
Tabby McTat is directed by Alan Lane and designed by Heledd Rees, with music and musical direction by Bobby Delaney. The assistant director is Georgia Green. Alan Lane said: “Of all of Julia’s much-loved stories, perhaps Tabby is the one best suited to delight a live audience – the story of a feline who loves to perform. We’re so excited to introduce a young audience to this singing cat in the furry flesh!”
Read on for some words by the author Julia Donaldson and Freckle Productions.
Julia Donaldson said: “I have a very soft spot for Tabby McTat, perhaps because I used to be a busker myself, and also because I am a great cat-lover. So I’m absolutely delighted that Freckle Productions are going to be dramatising my story and I can’t wait to see it.”
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