Adelaide’s Windmill Theatre has joined forces with Brisbane’s Metro Arts to present this gentle show with songs and actions that reinforce the deep connections between very young children and their teddy bears.
Excited three to six-year-olds, wearing complimentary teddy-bear ears and accompanied by their favourite bears, sit on cushions of all shapes and sizes around large cardboard boxes: Bear With Me is a cabaret setting for kids, an indoor teddy bear’s picnic.
Writer David Megarrity has tapped into the imaginative world of children and he has created 40 fun minutes that celebrate childhood. Performers Tyrone and Wesley play ukuleles, tell stories about teddy bears and play with their teddies as if they were puppets.
Director Michael Futcher knows his audience well and the show shifts seamlessly from song to story to audience participation. Audience members are referred to as “bear experts”, and are invited to hug, sing and talk to their bears.
Bear With Me encourages children to enter into the spirit of the show and to participate in the playful activities. There are classic songs and rhymes such as “Round and Round the Garden, Like a Teddy Bear”. The young audience thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to join in a chorus of “bottom”, march with their teddies, spot the teddy on a screen when playing “Where’s the bear?”, climb a mountain with their bears and have a pretend tea party.
There is no right or wrong in this enjoyable show – just fun, music and laughter. And it does work best if children have brought a special bear from home.
Bear With Me is a delightful introduction to theatre and a wonderful way for parents, grandparents, families and friends to spend time with tiny tots in an experience that explores the world of children and their relationships with their much-loved teddy bears.
Bear With Me is at the Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, until July 19, with at least two performances every day. It is recommended for children aged three to six.
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