Director: Nick George
Writer: Miranda Larson
Reviewer: Jenni Dixon
Bob and Wendy are busy working for Fixham theatre who are getting ready for a grand re-opening. They have a set to build for local acting talent Dickie Olivier’s opening show. Spud is determined to help out and gets distracted with trying to become a star himself. As is typical, Spud doesn’t quite get things right and ruins Bob’s plans. Scoop, Loftie and a very cool remote control Scrambler grace the stage to help out Bob as well as “human” actors who dance and sing along with Bob and the crew. It may be of some disappointment to ardent Bob fans that Neil Morrissey’s voice is not used during this production.
The set is a simple back drop of curtains that are printed with stage scaffolding. To the left and right front are two exit/entrances behind which Scoop and Loftie reside. Bob has a few tools and lots of bricks with which he has to build part of the set. Everything is as oversized and fun looking as you’d expect. The lighting is as equally bold and bright; with blue lighting being used during change of scenes.
There seemed to be technical issues with the voice overs as Spud’s voice didn’t seem as loud as Bob or Wendy’s. This was particularly noticeable during song sequences with the “human” actors and their microphones. Bob’s classic “Big Fish, Little Fish” makes an appearance as well as new songs, which didn’t seem to catch on very well with the audience.
It is terribly baffling to see what can be conveyed in 15mins via the television expanded into one and a half hours on stage with nothing of great interest or excitement to fill the gaps. Fireman Sam, Postman Pat and Bob have a pre-school age appeal yet the theatre shows do not seem to reflect this. Attention spans are short and it was obvious that most young audience members would have been happy to sit for no more than 30 or 40 minutes. The show has a 15 minute interval – again, something most parents probably dread and all pre-schoolers can live without.
This was another disappointing production from Premier Stage and HIT entertainment who don’t seem to be aiming at their dedicated demographic. Bob’s appeal of course goes beyond the hour and a half on stage, but given that this is likely to be most children’s first exposure to the theatre it could do with being a fun, fast, catchy one.
Passionate Bob fan’s won’t be put off but may be left slightly disappointed.