As the lights went up on a pile of old suitcases and a man with a ukulele, Mummy had a terrible feeling that this was going to be the sort of show that, like “educational” wooden toys, was made by grown-ups for grown-ups who think they know what kids like.
Luckily, Mummy was wrong.
The show starts with a song from Guy Hargreaves, which sets the scene for the story: Hargreaves plays a mysterious chap with the amazing job of helping people. Every day, he receives a new assignment and today’s is to help Ted, who lives in the Busy Town.
The show, created by the M6 Theatre Company in collaboration with Andy Manley, is for three- to seven-year-olds, so Jude, four, was target audience.
It tells the story of Ted, an old man who is lonely and never leaves his house. Ted is a puppet and his home is a suitcase, but Hargreaves somehow makes it magical and real at the same time.
The Rochdale-based company has clearly done this sort of thing before, and the inspired use of the few props – and a magic feather called Sylvie – entranced the children for the 45-minute show.
Spoiler alert: Ted eventually goes outside, makes friends and they throw him a party.
Hargreaves bringing Ted out to meet the audience afterwards was a nice touch – and everyone got a sticker, too.
It’s not often Mummy admits she was wrong, but she was happy to on this occasion.
Little Gift was at Eden Court.