The plot, which many tiny audience members know inside-out, is
simple and effective. A farmer leads a happy life on his charming farm, with a
menagerie of animals for company. But misfortune strikes when two naughty
robbers, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len, plan a heist around his prize heifer. Will the
farmer and his animal companions be able to foil their cunning plan? More
importantly, will the silent but watchful little ladybird be willing to help?
The story is brought to life by a multitalented cast of four. The actors bring infectious, genuine enthusiasm to the show, along with well honed and genuinely funny comedy: from silly voices to slapstick, their antics leave audience members of all ages – including parents – giggling uncontrollably. Emma Carroll was a standout as Farmer Lily, singing, dancing and playing the flute to provide a soundtrack to the flutterings of the ladybird. The effort that has gone into choreographing the cast is obvious: every jump, joke and jingle is delivered with meticulous comic timing.
The play’s set and staging are also excellent. Lydia Monks’s bright
and textured illustrations in the original book are clearly the main
inspiration behind Bek Palmer’s set, which quite literally home-grown. In front
of an amazed audience and amid many 'oohs' and 'aahs', actors construct each of
their animal cast members out of bits and bobs on stage. A football, blanket, and pair of handlebars make for a very convincing sheep, while the spout of a watering can is transformed into the long neck of a gabbling goose. The Ladybird’s staging is impressively
mobile and tactile from start to finish, featuring puppets, light-shows and sound effects
What the Ladybird
Heard runs slightly long at around 55 minutes – by the 45-minute mark, many
younger audience members may have had enough. Nevertheless, in virtually
every other respect, it is a delight for children and parents alike.
|What||What The Ladybird Heard, Lyric Theatre|
|Where||Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Piccadilly Circus (underground)|
05 Jul 17 – 10 Sep 17, Times vary between events. Check online
|Website||Click here for tickets and more information|