Review: Winnie The Pooh at Newcastle Theatre Royal
Winnie the Pooh – Newcastle Theatre Royal
7th August 2023
There is magic to be had as soon as you enter the auditorium for this magical interpretation of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh as you are instantly transported into the Hundred Acre Wood to join Christopher Robin, very briefly, closely followed by all of his friends as they head of on a customary adventure.
The story begins with Pooh learning that Christopher Robin is at school and a rather hungry Pooh bear (operated and performed by Benjamin Durham) is on the hunt for honey. He is joined in his quest by all his usual friends including Roo, Kanga, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit and Eeyore are played by some very skilful performers and puppeteers. There is one noticeable exception to my list which is the wonderful Tigger who bounces onto the stage and performs his signature ‘The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers’ with great glee – not once, but twice – expertly performed and handled by Robbie Noonan who is clearly loving life as the excitable and occasionally incomprehensible furry and very bouncy Tigger.
As ever with Disney’s incarnation of A A Milne’s loveable characters the stories are all about working together and friendship as the narrative takes us through autumn into winter and finally spring.
Everyone’s favourite songs are there including ‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘The Whoop De Dooper Bounce, and The Blustery Day all written by Richard and Robert Sherman with and A A Milne original ‘The More It Snows’ with music by Carly Simon and an all-new score composed by Nate Edmondson.
The magic come bouncing off the stage from the word go and the little ones are sure to be enchanted by the beautifully crafted and faithfully produced puppets developed and created by Jonathan Rockefeller which enhance the performances of some very talented actors, singers, performers, and puppeteers. The set is beautifully realistic while maintaining an animated feel which is a pretty impressive trick to accomplish. Finally. there is a youngster playing Christopher Robin who also doubles as the narrator of the piece, the part of which is shared by Joshua Khanyisa Smith, Charlie Man Evans, George Menzies Cutts and Oliver Ravelini.
Winnie the Pooh – The New Musical is playing at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Wednesday 9th
August before moving off to enchant Guildford, Blackpool, and Canterbury, to concludethe tour. It is a treat for adults and children alike for those who are fond of The Bear of Little Brain and his many friends.
Winnie the Pooh plays Newcastle Theatre Royal Mon 7 – Wed 9 Aug 2023. Tickets can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.
– Stephen Stokoe
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