2 Aug 2017

Room on the Broom at The Lowry

I can’t remember the number of times we have read Julia Donaldson’s Room on the Broom. We bought the 15th anniversary edition a while back and it has remained a favourite since. So imagine the excitement when my son found out that we were at The Lowry to watch Room on the Broom live on stage.

We made our way to our seats well before the start time, but the performers were already on the stage. They were seen to be setting up camp and were soon mingling with the audience in search of food. J was mystified and kept enquiring if the play had started before we arrived. Despite multiple assurances to the contrary, he wasn’t quite convinced. Until the lights dimmed, the wind blew and the witch appeared on her broom.

What followed was a fun-filled, musical re-telling of Room on the Broom. The witch came across as kind-hearted, sentimental, a bit muddled, but brave. The cat was wily and territorial to start with, but became amiable and considerate as the story unfolded. 

J and I both absolutely loved the dog. “It is so cute!” was my son’s verdict on the excitable little puppy puppet. The dog, the bird and the frog were puppets, each with a distinct personality and accent. The frog’s take on what I assume was a Texan cowboy was particularly charming.

I hate to say this, but the dragon was not nearly as ferocious as I would have liked. It was actually quite endearing. But given that more than half the audience were little children, I suppose this toned down version was appropriate.

The little touches, like flames from the dragon’s mouth and twinkling fairy lights on the new broom had me smiling. The costume changes were clever. J was left wondering as to how exactly all the performers had ended up wearing their pyjamas in the end.

It was a delight to watch this brilliant stage interpretation of a much-loved story book. Tall Stories, as always, have done a marvellous job with the production, introducing slapstick, humour, song and dance while remaining true to the original story. We thoroughly enjoyed watching Room on the Broom and are still humming, “Iggety ziggety zaggety zoom,” a day after, although we have forgotten the rest of the words and are just making them up as we go along!

(We have just pulled the book out to read, and realised that the entire story can be sung to the tune of ‘Iggety ziggety’!)

Room on the Broom plays at The Lowry all through this summer. Do pop over to book your tickets. There are lots of free events and workshops everyday from 11 am to 3pm in The Galleries this month to keep little ones entertained. Plus kids eat free at the Pier Eight restaurant. So why not make a day out of it?

Disclosure: We were given press tickets to watch the show and review it on the blog. All opinions are my own. Images courtesy The Lowry

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