Ruth’s 4* review:
Hairy Maclary’s Cat Tales has a loose narrative about a village cat show, but mostly comprises musical numbers about Hairy Maclary and his friends, often based on the wording of the popular series of books. All of the usual suspects are there – actors dressed up as the dogs and cats.
We weren’t sure how BabyStevenson would do in a proper sit-down show, but Stevensons love the Hairy Maclary books so we thought we’d give it a go.
It was a long show for a baby – almost an hour – but actually it pretty much kept BabyStevenson’s interest. He was open mouthed at the singing and the dancing characters often craning to watch them as they moved about the stage, and he joined in with some clapping and pointing. For the older kids the show also involved a bit of slapstick and panto, and they engaged enthusiastically.
It was a pleasant enough hour for adults too, as the singing was decent and it had some gentle humour.
After the show you could buy books and CDs outside.
This venue is a very large lecture theatre (in fact I had most of my first year lectures there in 1998) with fixed tiered seating. Three rows of chairs were also set out at the front, and we settled there so we could easily roam BabyCyclops a little in the aisle if he got bored.
We took BabyStevenson in the Baby Bjorn and this was good as the venue was up a couple of flights of stairs. A lift is available, and toilet facilities are in the basement.
This show would best suit children aged toddler upwards, particularly those that are able to sit and watch something and those that like music and Hairy Maclary. At 14 months BabyStevenson was probably on the young side for it.
The show would be unsuitable for children that are uncomfortable in large crowds, and those that are scared by noise/shouting/flashing lights.
I’m going to hazard that it may also be of less interest to those currently unfamiliar with Hairy Maclary and his friends, as a lot of the excitement comes from recognising the characters and rhymes. As I say the plot is loose…