Guest review - We're Going On A Bear Hunt

If you go down to Town Hall today you’re sure of a big surprise… A group of intrepid adventurers are currently in the building, wading their way through the splishy, splashy river, the thick, oozy, squelchy mud and the gigantic swishy, swashy grass, in We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. Yesterday, Friday 12 April, we sent a brave family over to Town Hall to join in the quest, read their review below…

“We took our two boys on an adventure in the middle of Birmingham city centre yesterday. We were at Birmingham Town Hall for the 11am performance of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, and we were not scared.

The story follows an intrepid family of 4, plus their musical dog, as they head out into the wilderness in search of a bear. Along the way they encounter all kinds of terrain and weather; a wide, raging river, a snow storm, deep mud, tall grass, all of which are acted out by the energetic cast with minimal props and a huge amount of enthusiasm, allowing the hundreds of children in attendance to use their imaginations. Each situation presents an opportunity for fun and song, before we eventually meet a large (friendly) bear and make a ‘terrified’ run for home, and the safety of the duvet.

The jam-packed show clocks in at just under an hour, which is the perfect length for young children. It’s long enough to provide thrills, spills and laughs, and for imaginations to run sufficiently wild, but not quite so long that they get bored and begin to fidget. There are plenty of opportunities to sing along and shout, and our three-year-old in particular was totally exhausted by the end!

From the very beginning of the show the emphasis is on interaction, with the players entering from the rear of the hall and reaching the stage by walking through the crowd, gathering information from the children as to what the elusive bear may look like as they go. There is also a fair degree of repetition in the dialogue and songs as the action unfolds, so the kids quickly cotton on to when and where they can join in, which is often enough to keep interest levels high.

The Town Hall is a great venue for the show, located as it is in the middle of town, making it easy to get to, and once inside the building provides easy access and helpful staff. The high ceilings, large stage and dynamic lighting in the hall provide sufficient ‘Wow’ factor for little (and big) kids, and there is a lovely cafe area in the foyer. The show runs until next Wednesday, 17th April, with two performances a day. If you have youngsters, I can’t recommend it enough.

- Craig Hamilton

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
Until Wednesday 17 April, various times
Town Hall