Hold on to your biscuits! Part of the ‘Kids at the House’ season this is wonderful fun, full of bright, vibrant energy. This is magnificent school holiday fare and is just right for the intended market, young ittlies, who absolutely loved it.
Some kids came dressed in a tiger onesie, quite a few wore a Tiger mask (for sale at the merchandise desk) ,some had their photo taken with the cardboard cutout tiger at the entrance to the theatre, The show is based on Judith Kerr’s wonderful book that has been out for about 40 years about a Tiger (a very polite yet extremely hungry,, dancing ,energetic tiger!) who invites himself to afternoon tea with Sophie and her Mum and eats and drinks everything in the house, leaving nothing left for supper.
The show includes mime, (Tiger indicating he is hungry and thirsty) slapstick (Daddy, late for work, frantically running around gulping breakfast, putting his shoes in the toaster instead of bread!), and panto. As in the style of Playschool and The Wiggles there is repetition of simple phrases, counting down of the hours on the clock, plenty of sing-along audience participation (the ‘yummy, scrummy sausages chips and ice cream’ song), and great sight gags ( Daddy wearing a tea cosy instead of his hat). The combination of sounds and mime in the car sequence (the car being kitchen furniture) was great fun and there were lovely special effects with the night stars design.
Matthew Dudley as Daddy, the milkman and old almost blind postman, is tall, gangly and a lot of fun. As Tiger he is striking in his orange and black attire. His sinister, slinky entrance and fantastic ‘killer moves’ generated squeals of excitement from the young audience members. He is also terrific at leading the Tigerobics (again almost full house audience participation ) when the music is on the radio …
Jenanne Redman as Mummy was just right, sweet and caring and always busy. Redman also showed great prowess as a singer and dancer.
Abbey Norman as Sophie is terrific, extremely energetic and delightful.There were some lovely moments. My favourites:- when the Tiger was drinking and Sophie was stroking his tail..when Tiger gives Sophie a ride on his back…when Sophie hugs the Tiger goodbye.
Dudley as Tiger is very tall and striking in his orange and black garb, and has much fun even playing a horn at the curtain calls.
Visually the set is very faithful to the book; bright, mostly blue but with yellow accents and chairs, as are the costumes (down to the checks on Sophies’s tights) .
This was glorious children’s theatre and children of all ages were enchanted. When you go to see the show make sure that you pack extra provisions and that you don’t forget the large tin of Tiger food!
Running Time- 1 hour.
THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA is playing the Playhouse, Sydney Opera House until 28th December 2014.