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Review: Charlie & Lola’s Best Bestest Play

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 20-12-2013

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Yesterday Little Man and I travelled to Bluewater, Kent to see the latest offering from Charlie & Lola live on stage. “Charlie & Lola’s Best Bestest Play” is an hour in length with no interval, and its split into what is effectively two “episodes”. I obviously don’t want to give anything away plot wise, but the two “episodes” follow the format you’d come to expect from the show. There are three stars – Charlie, Lola and Lola’s imaginary friend Soren Lorenson – and each are puppets. There are four puppeteers onstage making these three work, as well as act as stage hands moving the set around and the props.
I read reviews of this show and other Charlie & Lola stage shows of the same format before I went. I was curious as to what other people made of the show, and what they did and didn’t enjoy. The main complaint from people who had seen the shows was that they found the four puppeteers distracting. They are visable the whole time, there’s no attempt made to hide them, and for me this wasn’t a problem. They “acted” alongside the puppets, their faces showing the emotions that the characters were feeling, or reacting to something that was going on onstage. They provided a second source of entertainment and one that my Little Man loved. He was fascinated by the entire thing. He recognised the characters, he laughed along, he called out “Uh oh…” at relevant moments, and he clapped happily at the end. There are two moments in the show when the audience really gets involved with items landing on them. He adored these bits and giggled madly when things landed on his head and on Mummy’s. He was mesmerised for the entire show and when it did end he wanted more. At no point did I think the stage was too busy for him to understand what was going on, and the rest of the audience seemed content too. The show is running until January 5th at Glow, Bluewater before it embarks on a tour in the spring. If you can get to Bluewater to see it. Its a great little venue for children’s theatre, and there’s loads of free parking and plenty of places to eat afterwards. There’s also a Winter Wonderland on at the moment with a skating rink and in the run up to Christmas there’s a chance to meet Santa too. We had a lovely day at Bluewater, seeing the show, eating a great meal at Giraffe and then doing a bit of shopping afterwards. A wonderfully magical festive day out for me and my Little Man.

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