Review: Goldilocks and The Three Bears. The Neville Studio. Nottingham Playhouse

Goldilocks and The Three Bears running at Nottingham Playhouse’ Neville Studio until Saturday 31 December is the sweetest and most perfect little Christmas show for the littles and their not-so-little parents. It is a surprise take on the traditional tale (but not too radical), that is full of magical surprises guaranteed to delight the small ones and reduce them to awestruck giggling fits. There are birds that fly across the stage and drop sloppy-stinky bird poo on poor Goldylox (Julia Bird) and then there are the cutest set of three bears (Reece Carter) that ever lived in the depths of Sherwood Forest. And, there are some rather catchy songs by writer Anna Wheatley with music composed by Jack Quarton.

Reece Carter is instantly lovable as the two adult bears – one who likes to dance and one who is French and likes to cook – and Carter proves a dab hand at the puppetry side of things as he makes the ‘poptastic’ and a bit over-confident baby bear come to life on stage. As Goldylox Julia Bird is great fun and a sympathetic character who is forbidden to dance and has been locked away in a cellar with very little to eat. Goldylox is forever hungry for both food and chances to strut her stuff. Spoiler! No wonders she escapes the dark and spider filled cellar and eventually finds her way to the home of the three bears. She is not the greedy Goldilocks of fairy-tale tradition but a girl who desperately needs to be fed, have a chance to dance and a loving home. Can the Three Bears offer all this and bundles of kindness when they think she is a robber? You’ll have to come and see boys and girls.

All sorts of magical moments are included in Goldilocks and The Three Bears including a beautiful colourful butterfly that shows Goldilocks the way to the delightfully comfy home of the three bears and the script even includes a few bits of wit that the adults will like including a scene when one of the parent bears thinks they are being robbed and suggests that ‘we have no money – we are freelancers’. Raphael Achache, Emily Howlett, Sam Osborne and Bradley Hunt collaborate in creating and bringing to life the captioned aspects of the show which adds to its general, across the board, appeal.

As Nottingham Playhouse say of their Goldilocks and The Three Bears, it is … ‘an adventure exploring friendship, home and daring to share. With music, magic and plenty of opportunities to join in along the way, this show is ‘just right’ for little humans aged 3 – 8 and their grown ups.’ And they are 100% right.

So why not bring your young children to experience Nottingham Playhouse’s Goldilocks and The Three Bears? It could help to introduce them to theatre as a magical live theatre art form and, who knows, one day in the distant future, they will remember the event with joy and how it made them want to see more and more and more and maybe get involved themselves.

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