I still vividly remember watching The Sooty Show as a child and have seen all five of my children enjoy the mischief, magic and mayhem of the little bear and his friends over the years.
This weekend, we were lucky enough to review The Sooty Show live tour, straight from CITV, at the Shrewsbury Severn Theatre. Starring Richard Cadell, Sooty, Sweep and Soo along with appearances from Ramsbottom the snake and Butch the bulldog, the show invites the audience to join in with Sooty's birthday party celebrations. From baking the cake, picking the music, decorating the house and finding the perfect dress for Soo, there is so much to do, and things are getting messy!
The format of the show is very true to the original style I remember from my childhood. There is a lot of mischief, lots of visual comedy, some magic and plenty of times when Sweep got bonked on the head for being a 'sausage brain'. I liked the fact that they hadn't pandered to political correctness or tried to make it more modern, by giving Sooty and Sweep voices or articulating them beyond hand puppetry. It was exactly as I remembered it. The old fashioned simplicity, carried by madcap comedy and a plethora of mishaps for Richard to deal with worked really well.
The show included some audience participation including an audience rendition of 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' every time the doorbell rang. It was a very interactive show and if you went along with it, it was very entertaining and a lot of fun. Freddy loved jumping out of his seat to dance, and was shouting at the characters on stage at every opportunity! I loved seeing him so happy and engaged with what was happening on stage.
Richard's delivery of the show was frantic, manic and fast paced. His engagement with the kids in the audience was very good and the whole crowd was cheering, clapping, dancing and laughing throughout.
Highlights for me were Sweep doing Gangnam Style, which was a stroke of comedy genius and Sooty's big magic trick finale, which left me amazed! I am still not a fan of Soo (she is just so self-important and bossy) but she did look spectacular in her final party frock!
The show is definitely a fun filled treat for little ones and a nostalgic pleasure for parents who still remember the magic spell "Izzy Wizzy let's get busy!"
After the show, you can meet Richard and Sooty. This was well managed and the children were efficiently processed as they were quickly filtered through to the front of the queue, posed ready to be photographed and then moved on ready for the next family. No time for a chat or a cuddle, but a very streamlined process to get everyone the chance for a snap with Sooty in the quickest time possible without too much waiting around. My children were happy to get their picture taken, although Freddy cottoned on to the fact that Richard's hand was inside the box and therefore inside Sooty. The magic and wonder of childhood may have diminished slightly right there!!
The Sooty Show is great theatre for little ones (and Sooty fans of all ages). It's noisy, fun, in your face and chaotic, bringing the mischief and mayhem of Sooty to life in an entertaining and laugh-out-loud format for all the family to enjoy.
The tour is continuing across the country at these venues:
Sat 18 Oct Chesterfield Winding Wheel
Sun 19 Oct Lichfield Garrick
Sat 25 Oct Camberley Theatre
Sun 26 Oct Swindon Wyvern
Mon 27 Oct Peterborough Key Theatre
Tue 28 Oct Cromer Pier
Wed 29 Oct Southport Theatre
Thu 30 Oct Redditch Palace
Fri 31 Oct Newtown Hafren
Sat 1 Nov Boston Arts
Sun 21 Nov Stevenage Gordon Craig
Sat 8 Nov Wimborne Tivoli
Sat 15 Nov Llanelli, the Lyric Theatre
Sun 16 Nov Chesham Elgiva
Find out more at www.thesootyshow.com.