Heartwarming Christmas classic is fun for all the family at Stick Man hits the Royal stage in Northampton

Stick Man runs on the Royal stage until New Year's EveStick Man runs on the Royal stage until New Year's Eve
Stick Man runs on the Royal stage until New Year's Eve
Stick Man and Snow White run until New Year’s Eve

Stick Man oh Stick Man! Beware of the...!

This is a saying in our house that I've heard over and over again. Our eldest boy, now six, has been a huge fan of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's classic since he was little and we've watched the TV version countless times as well as reading the much-loved book. we even have the cuddly toy to add to the collection.

Now, it's time to introduce Stick Man to the youngest, who has just turned two. He's a little unruly so I was slightly nervous about taking him on his first trip to the theatre but I hoped that with a performance of just under an hour long that he'd be okay.

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With the traditional panto - Snow White - on the main Derngate stage, Stick Man is down below on the Royal stage. You can take buggies and prams downstairs via the lift and leave them outside the auditorium doors so access is easy with the little ones.

I was unsure what to expect arriving at the theatre, which was subject to a shock closure earlier this year due to the discovery of RAAC in the foyer. However it's business as usual and they've managed to prop up the affected areas safely whilst still being able to open to the public.

There was a lovely atmosphere in the Royal auditorium which was full of excited children with families and pupils on school trips.

Eagerly awaiting Stick Man, my toddler was spellbound as the production began with three people taking to the stage to play out the familiar tale.

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As Stickman heads out for his morning jog, his misadventure begins.

The cast, featuring two men and one woman, excellently work their way through each scene including a dog who wants to play fetch with Stick Man, a swan who builds a nest with him and even landing up in the fire before being woken up by Father Christmas getting stuck in the chimney above.

The beach scene was fun with blow up balls being thrown around the auditorium with squeals of delight from the little ones.

The music, set and props were simple yet amazing and so effective. From fishes swimming along the river with Stick Man, to snow falling delicately from the sky.

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Quick costume changes, clever facial expressions and an array of musical instruments to hand all didn't go unnoticed by me - the cast were incredibly talented.

I've seen a few of the Julia Donaldson series on stage - including Zog and Everywhere Bear - and Stick Man was by far the best for me.

It was more fun and interactive and above all, incredibly heartwarming - leaving a smile on everyone's face.

So we survived our first theatre trip with the baby of the family. My notoriously wriggly two-year-old absolutely loved it. His favourite part was the dog and he's not stopped babbling about Stick Man in the fire ever since.

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Equally, older children will also love this so it’s one for the whole family to enjoy.

A faultless show production and a must-see this Christmas.

Stick Man runs until December 31, with Snow White also finishing on the same day. Tickets and more information can be found here.

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