Entertainment Hive 2017

Cranky Bear

Patch Theatre Company, Odeon Theatre Norwood, Saturday, August 9 (limited

shows)

Review by Honey B

There were certainly no cranky children at Patch Theatre's latest children's show Cranky Bear. In fact the youngsters were quite excited to get the action started and they were delighted when the six act cabaret production, based on Nick Bland's best-selling children's book The Very Cranky Bear, began. Director Dave Brown has wisely chosen a cabaret format for the piece because Zebra, Lion and Moose are such over-the-top characters. Each animal tries to solve the Bear’s crankiness, but they make him even crankier with their shenanigans. It takes a humble and empathetic sheep with an open heart and a listening ear to solve the Bear’s problem Lion, Moose and Zebra are natural born entertainers and confident in their own skins - which were really quite fabulous. Moose, played by Stephen Sheehan, loves his antlers and was a bit silly, Zebra, played by Tim Overton, loves his stripes and was super exuberant, while Lion, played by Jude Henshall, loves her beautiful mane but was quite vain. Henshall was a stand-out in this gorgeous and thoughtful production - not only did she play the mane-licious lion but she did a complete turn-around to portray the shy and empathetic Sheep. Overton also portrayed two characters in the frenetic Zebra and the roar-some and misunderstood Cranky Bear. All three super talented performers sang and played several instruments and they had some audience involvement inviting four children on-stage to play the fabulous friends. Moose, Zebra and Lion don't understand why Bear is cranky and their extreme reasoning and big ideas are hilarious. Bear doesn't want to be Cranky and with great kindness Sheep finds the courage to help bear. The music in this production was catchy while the costumes were just like home dress-ups, except for Sheep who had an intricate, textured dress which looked just like wool. Cranky Bear was a heart-warming, fun cabaret about transformation, courage, empathy and everyone leaves the theatre happy. Cranky Bear, Odeon Theatre Norwood, Saturday, August 16, 1pm & 3.30 pm and Saturday, August 23, 3.30pm
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