Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Aliens Love Underpants Review

All of our favourite books seem to turning into stage shows at the moment! After seeing ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ at the Civic Theatre recently, T and I were thrilled to be invited along to see the latest book turned show ‘Aliens Love Underpants’. As it was a weekend show D decided that he would come with us and a lack of childcare also lead to L coming along for her first theatre visit!

The show is currently being shown at the Leicester Square Theatre and with an afternoon showing we decided to make a day of it in London, going for a walk through Hyde Park before heading for some lunch in Leicester Square. I sometimes forget how close we are to London in Chelmsford and we didn’t have any problems with the buggy on the train. The tube is a different matter and people aren’t always so forgiving to nervous mums trying to get their buggies onto the escalators!

As with all stage shows for children the audience were involved right from the start. The cast appeared in ‘I LOVE Pants’ t-shirts and asked the children about their favourite pants. I thought it was lovely that children were then mentioned specifically by the cast on stage as they started the show - it really helped to get all the children involved and the children who were mentioned had beaming smiles. This was followed by questions from the cast about the various colours, patterns and shapes of pants. The audience loved shouting out their answers and it was a great start to the show.

As an adult watching these shows, I am always intrigued as to how they will use the book to fill the 55 minutes running time of the show. The show’s director and writers had obviously been very keen to stay as close to the book as possible and they did use whole sections of the book as dialogue. I don’t want to give away too much detail as I don’t want to spoil the show if you haven’t seen it yet!

The aliens are puppets and L absolutely loved it whenever they came on stage and, even at just 20 months, she was cheering and clapping every time she saw them. They were exactly the same as in the book so those who knew the book well were able to make this connection. The part of the show on the spaceship was another highlight, especially when the main character was able to press a button and translate from ‘Alien’ into ‘English’!

There were lots of references in the show that were clearly aimed at entertaining the adults as well as the children. An older character mentions CD’s to the bemusement of the younger characters and the Pants Hall of Fame section was also excellent - I was trying to guess them before the aliens explained who they had belonged too and felt quietly happy when I realised I’d guessed them all correctly!

‘Alien’s Love Underpants’ is definitely a show aimed at all ages and I would highly recommend it. I had been worried that L would be too young to enjoy the show, but whilst she didn’t sit their mesmerised for the whole show there were certainly large chunks of it that she really did enjoy. D also enjoyed it and it was his first experience of children’s theatre. I’m just hoping that there is a ‘Pirates Love Underpants’ in the pipeline!

‘Aliens Love Underpants’ is showing at the Leicester Square Theatre until 31st August. See here for more details.