Looking around the Bristol Hippodrome, I was surprised to see the broad age range of the audience who had gathered to watch Aardman’s favourite Shaun the Sheep, starring in his very own Big Show.
I myself was accompanied by two five-year-old boys with ants in their pants, however when the curtain raised I was pleased to see that the high-energy leg kicking and jumping kept them entertained throughout.
Shaun’s Big Show has been adapted especially for stage by National Children’s Dramatist David Wood, whose acclaimed catalogue of children’s stage adaptations include, among others, Babe The Sheep-Pig, The BFG, The Witches, The Twits, James And The Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox and Tom’s Midnight Garden. This particular production marks David’s first screened animation adaptation, adopting the premise of the televised series – being performed entirely without spoken narrative.
The main storyline features the Shaun and his flock including Bitzer, Shirley and Timmy discovering the joys of dance.
This inspires Shaun to put on his own show in the barn, while avoiding the farmer and his sleep walking ways.
Thanks to choreographer Bill Deamer, the flock which includes Bristolian Ryan Campbell-Birch, dance and prance their way seamlessly through a vast array of dance moves and tunes. These range from the Riverdance to ballroom, and classical ballet to a bit of Dirty Dancing.
My crew particularly enjoyed the disco dancing scene complete with flashing lights and disco balls. Watching leather-clad pigs, grinding their way through the YMCA was an unusual but highly entertaining scene.
The entire cast was excellent – managing to dance in those costumes for 70 minutes must be a very hot and tiring job. Shaun, of course, being my son’s favourite.
We all had a great evening and, judging by the claps and cheers, so did the rest of the audience.
I would definitely recommend this as a fun family night out.