Patch Theatre Company
Dunstan Playhouse
Until 13 Oct 2018

Review by Doug Phillips

“The Cranky Bear” is a great show for kids. A talented cast bring this much-loved children’s book to life, with energy, fun and charisma. If you’re after an enjoyable show to see with the kids, this will be a hit.

With that said, I didn’t enjoy it. That’s probably not relevant, considering it’s aimed at people three decades younger than me. I did think it was lacking in some areas. Unnecessarily too, as it had everything it needed to be a smash.

The cast are all very talented performers, and quite professional, but their performances lacked something. As much as they held the attention of the audience, I don’t think they really got them going as much as they could have.

The sets were brilliant. The script too was excellent, in the way that it took a short story and created a full show out of it. It did feel like it was dragged out a little, but again I acknowledge that I’m writing from the point of view of a parent who has read this book hundreds of times.

I should be clear, the kids in the audience loved it, and it is designed for them after all. My five year old asked me towards the end if it would be finished soon, which isn’t a great endorsement. But on the whole the theatre was filled with happy kids during and after the show.

Being a kids show, there probably could have been some more interaction. Perhaps a bit of the old “he’s behind you” wouldn’t have gone astray. A little less emphasis on portraying the story perfectly and a bit more involving the audience.

I’m very keen to see what Patch Theatre bring Adelaide audiences next. There was so much talent and potential in all aspects of the show, that I’m sure their next endeavour will be a cracker.