Eric Carle’s, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is one of those classic children’s stories that everyone loves. I have vivid memories of hearing the story as a child myself. I then enjoyed reading it to Mini when she was little. I love that it’s now one of her favourite books to read to Baby Mack. When we heard that MAC (Midlands Arts Centre), Birmingham were putting on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, we were very excited to be invited along. It appears that we aren’t the only fans of the story, as it has been translated into 62 languages and sold over 43 million copies worldwide.
We have seen shows such as Rudolf and Alice in Wonderland at MAC previously. We have always enjoyed our visits so were excited to see how they would bring our favourite story to life on stage. On the day of our visit Mini’s school was closed for voting, so it made a lovely treat for the three of us.
We took our seats ready for the show to begin. Three actors came onto the stage to start the performance. The whole show was performed by the three actors and a fourth behind scenes helping with puppets (Adam Ryan, Katie Haygarth, Ben Thornton and Clarke Edwards). We were delighted to discover that the performance would include four stories in total, all from Eric Carle’s books. There was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks and The Very Lonely Firefly before ending with the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The children in the audience clearly loved all of the stories but were most excited when they finally got a glimpse of the caterpillar they’d been eagerly waiting to see.
All of the performances were bright and colourful and clearly captured the children’s attention. Clever yet simple puppetry was used throughout to bring the story characters to life on stage, whilst keeping true to the original illustrations.
The performance lasted 50 minutes, which was long enough for the little ones in the audience. I think if it were any longer a break would be needed for children to keep their attention. Even though the audience was packed with pre-schoolers and babies, they must have been entranced with the magic of the show as they behaved wonderfully.
I think that the show is a perfect introduction to theatre for very little ones. It had a very fun feel to it, whilst also capturing the charm and magic of the well loved story. We all enjoyed the performance, Baby Mack was captivated by the bright lights on stage and Mini loved guessing what was coming next of the story. Team Mack would definitely recommend a trip to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show as a fantastic family trip for all ages to enjoy.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show runs at MAC, Birmingham until Saturday 4th May. For further information and to book tickets visit the MAC, Birmingham website. The show then continues on with its UK tour that runs until 21st July. For more details and full tour list click here for the official show website.
Disclaimer: We were invited to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.
Official production images were provided by Midlands Arts Centre, with thanks.