To celebrate its 36th Anniversary, Dear Zoo a well known children’s book by Rod Campbell has been turned into a Theatre Production for the first time and is being shown at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre to co-incide with the February half term holidays. The three main characters who were entertaining us were, Sally, Sam and Ben. Ben being the one who wrote the letter to the zoo, Sally being his best friend and Sam who was the Zoo Keeper who delivers the animals.
Here’s a photo of our kids with the Dear Zoo book, a book which they grew up reading and remember so well.
What is the Dear Zoo book about?
‘Dear Zoo is the story of a child who writes to the zoo asking them to send a pet! Its a fabulous book for young kids, brightly illustrated with bold artwork but still small enough for little hands with easy lift-the-flap book and thick chunky and sturdy pages to keep toddlers mesmerised. First published in 1982, the book continues to delight each new generation of children as they lift the flaps in search of the perfect animal.’
There was also a souvenir shop on the first floor selling various gifts for the kids to buy little gifts from.
About the Show
‘Written by Rod Campbell, the master of interactive storytelling and an expert in early learning for pre-schoolers, he is also the creator of more than 200 books for children. His unique ability to be both fun and reassuring encourages children to discover and delight in the world around them. The show is produced by Norwell Lapley Productions and directed by Michael Gattrell. Dear Zoo live on stage is suitable for children aged 2 – 6 years. Brought to life through child-engaging puppets, original music and lots of audience interaction, it will immediately appeal to families and children who already love the book and will serve as a wonderful introduction to those coming to the story for the first time.’
Ben and Sally with Frog who was very bouncy
What did we think of the show?
We loved it! Our kids enjoyed the one hour show and the anticipation of waiting to see which animal came out (although they already knew as they have read the book). My son enjoyed the frog and the monkey the most as both animals were really silly and funny. The one hour show was filled with fun, dance and song and kept all the kids from young toddlers to the age of seven on their toes. Our kids joined in the action and singing and you could see the joy on their face when whenever both Sally and Ben came out or when they heard the sound of Sam’s van.
It was also great that the show was interactive and encouraged crowd participating whereby the kids had the chance to get up from their seats and jump, roar or strech with the cast. We noticed that some of the kids were so engrossed with the show that they got a little scared whe the lion came out of the box and roared but they soon calmed down and joined in the fun. The props which were mainly different sized boxes (where the animals were placed) were nicely done and brightly painted to attract the attention of the kids. Personally, we think that the show was fabulous and should not be missed especially if you have grown up with the book and are now reading it to your kids.
When is Dear Zoo ?
The show will run on Wednesday, 21 February and Thursday, 22 February 2018 at 11am and 2pm
How much are the tickets ?
Tickets are priced at £14.50 each. Family ticket £52.00.
How can I book ?
Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01785 619080 or by visiting Stafford Gatehouse Theatre’s website.
Sally and Ben with the Camel who was grumpy
Where is Stafford Gatehouse Theatre?
Stafford Gatehouse is an old Victorian theatre for professional and amateur shows, including Shakespeare and children’s plays. In 2007, the Borough Hall was reopened as Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, by his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. The Borough Hall was originally opened on 20 June 1877 and the building once housed Stafford Borough Council.
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre
Tel: 01785 619080
Where to park?
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is in the heart of Stafford, just seconds from the main shopping centre and central tourist attractions. It is less than 10 minutes drive from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M6 and can be found by following the theatre mask symbols on routes into the town centre. There are ample parking facilities a short walk away from the theatre and cycle racks are available outside the building.
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* We were offered tickets in exchange for the review. All opionions are our own.