Reviewer: David Doyle
Two hippos race towards the moon in a bid to be the first hippo on it, in the stage adaptation of the best-selling children’s novel by David Walliams. For ages three and up, it’s a fun morning with an enjoyable story that will delight children even if it relies a little too much on toilet humour and a desire to impart a message about friendship that feels slightly overworked.
One of the chief strengths of the show is its design. Initially, the show has a fun, DIY feel to things with a set that is slightly rough around the edges giving the show an endearing appeal. This is coupled with some wonderful puppets, including a rather striking ostrich, adds greatly to the show from the very beginning. As the earth melts away and the story shifts into space the design becomes even more impressive, setting the show apart from others.
This is a simple story told well. While not revolutionary, it does manage to entertain for the full hour and by the end, many of the children in the audience are dancing in the aisles. Hindered slightly by a desire to impart a message about the importance of friendship which seems overworked, the show would benefit from not taking itself quite as seriously as it does. With much to enjoy from the design to songs, the show does justice to a well-known author’s work while also managing to find enough to justify moving the story from page to stage.
Runs until 20 August 2017 | Image: Contributed