18 October 2015
Reviewed by Carron Charlesworth
Another visit to this lovely, welcoming theatre! We parked our car, a short minute’s walk away from the theatre which is situated in Barnsley Town Centre. The theatre is very central, close to lots of parking, and very near to bus and train stations.
There was a real buzz in the foyer, lots of families there with children of ages ranging from about 3 years old to around 8 years old. I noticed lots of children had brought their own teddy bears too. I wasn’t sure if this was just a coincidence, or whether it was the done thing with this story? As usual the staff were very helpful and friendly, and we were all quickly seated in readiness for the show beginning.
Upon entering the theatre I noticed the actors were already on stage. One asleep in an armchair, and another playing a cello. The children sat on cushions on the floor and the grown-ups sat just behind on wooden benches and chairs.
The show started and my four year old daughter was engrossed, she never flinched throughout! The story is about Bear who lives alone in the woods, and one day he is visited by a caterpillar. After a shaky start, they become the best of friends and travel through the seasons of the year together – until the caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Then Butterfly is off on his adventures exploring the world, returning to Bear to tell him of his trips. The story consisted of two main characters – Bear and Butterfly, and then Owl who plays the cello throughout the story. I loved the big tree which Bear lived under which had a variety of ‘facilities’. The music from cello was really soothing and I felt myself really feeling that I was surrounded by trees in a wood.
One of the final scenes is where Butterfly returns to Bear for the final time, and then he passes away. It brought tears to my eyes, it was done so lovely and in a way that wouldn’t make children upset. Bear then hibernates, and before he knows it, it’s Spring, he has more visitors and it all starts again!
The show lasts for fifty minutes which was just long enough. It is advertised for over 4’s and I think it was pitched just right.
I would recommend going to see this show. There were lots and lots of families there, the busiest I’ve seen the theatre for a children’s show. All of the children sat and listened really well, you could hear a pin drop most of the time – except when Bear wasn’t being loud!!!
Suitable for ages 4-7 years.
Bear and Butterfly is on tour until 24 December 2015. For more information and tour dates visit www.theatrehullabaloo.org.uk/bear-and-butterfly.
For other shows at The Civic in Barnsely visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk.
The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ | 01226 327000