So as you all know I have been visiting the theatre quite frequently in recent months and honestly I am having a blast! I am so honoured to be able to take the children to the Riverfront and see some lovely shows, I have seen some great things there, and How the Koala Learnt to Hug was no exception.
As with other children’s shows we’ve seen there was a simple scene set up when we entered the studio, which consisted of plenty of green trees and a picnic blanket.
Steven then bounded into the scene and started the energetic and interactive show with Natascha his daughter crashing into a tree, she is a witch of course, and no, things don’t get any less quirky, and neither would you want them to trust me! Natascha is saved from the tree with bubbles, music and a magic word, and we then continue into the story.
So in short Natascha the witch doesn’t want to hug her Dad, awwww, and he decides to share the story of How the Koala Learnt to hug with everyone hoping to change her mind. The rest of the audience didn’t need much convincing though as we had to hug our favourite people to create some magic, which it turn produced a huge leaf filled with sweets, room full of children instantly pleased in one action!
The grumpy Koala called Natascha was seemingly a bit mean, and all the children (and parents) had to sing “Hey! Grumpy koala!” when she had her grumpy face on her, there’s an ear worm if I’ve ever heard one, and I have, plenty of times since! Thanks Steve.
The story progresses and we get to meet the Raggae brothers (beavers of course) who are tricked into cutting down all the trees by the grumpy Natascha, whilst also singing some quirky songs in their Jamaican accents, then things take a turn for the worse, there is a terrible noise and Natascha gets more and more cross because she can’t find the source of the weeping… It turns out to be the last Eucalyptus tree, who happens to be very lonely “like me…” Natascha realises, and the whole situation is resolved, everything is better with a hug as we know, and that is, in short, how the koala learnt to hug!
I’ll let you find out for yourselves if Natascha the witch is convinced by the story, but there was a lot of singing from the small people and parents at the end and we all got to hug Steven’s very own Koala ‘Karen’ before we left which was lovely.
So the singing reggae beaver brothers, Australian picnic consisting of larger and hot sauce, a weeping tree and a witch all made for some very quirky entertainment and everyone seemed to love the show! Steven’s energy and Australian accent really brought the story to life and I realised at the end I hardly wrote a word on my little notepad because I was so engrossed in the activity on the studio floor. I also forgot to take pictures, useless blogger over here!
We had never read how the Koala Learnt To Hug but we will be buying it and can see it becoming a favourite in our house.
If you want to find out if the show is near you soon check out the People’s Theatre Company site. There are also teaching resources available on their website.
We loved this show and think you would too.
Good luck for the rest of the tour Steven and PTC!
Disclaimer- Tickets were provided for purpose of review.