It's possibly the most morally ambiguous children's story from the past few years: I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassesn's beloved picture book, has arrived in the National Theatre complete with live brass band and of course a very special pointy red hat.
This hilarious performance will entertain all the family, but is especially aimed at little ones age three and up.
It follows a bear, who finds himself bereft of his favourite hat. Brilliantly played by Marek Larwood, bear stumbles about on stage roaring at the children and hunting through the audience before confronting his fellow forest dwellers - including one who the audience may notice is wearing a suspiciously red and pointy accessory on his head - on his quest to find his hat.
Actor (Dr Who, Broadchurch) and composer Arthur Darvill's score is a catchy, lively complement to the physical comedy on stage and Klassesn's eccentric narrative is still vivid in this stage adaptation. The zany characters, sharp physical comedy and glorious visual effects (including falling snow) keep the whole family on the edge of their seats and grinning from ear to ear.
There is just one warning for those who haven't read the book: expect a rather dramatic confrontation between bear and the thief who stole his hat. Though, it was the faint-hearted parents that seemed most shocked by the sudden moment of cartoonish violence; the little ones cackled in dark delight.
A marvellous play for little (and not so little) ones, I Want My Hat Back is a zesty treat among the slew of oh-so-sweet Christmas shows for kids this winter.
Recommended for children age 3+
|What||I Want My Hat Back, National Theatre Review|
|Where||National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
12 Nov 15 – 02 Jan 16, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
|Price||£12 - £15|
|Website||Click here to book via the National Theatre site|