Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Extraterrestrial drama is pants-tastic

I took my two boys to see this recreation of Claire Freedman and Ben Cort's well-loved book, adapted and directed by Adam Bampton-Smith, intrigued to see just how this enchanting yet fairly short story would be expanded and brought to life for long enough to fill a whole show.

Aliens Love Underpants

Theatre Royal, Windsor
Thursday, August 11

I took my two boys to see this recreation of Claire Freedman and Ben Cort's well-loved book, adapted and directed by Adam Bampton-Smith, intrigued to see just how this enchanting yet fairly short story would be expanded and brought to life for long enough to fill a whole show.

It was great to see what the creative team at Big Wooden Horse and Nick Brooke Limited had done and it worked tremendously well. The four, sometimes five people who appeared on the stage really enjoyed what they were doing and got the audience to chime along.

We were taken on a fantastic journey via some psychedelic space age school lessons and groovy, catchy tunes, a shop named Pants R Us, the mysterious disappearance of underpants from a washing line and some aliens visiting in their glow-in-the-dark spaceship.

Schoolboy Timmy is whisked away to play with his new friends and as the story behind their love of underpants is unravelled, the aliens and Timmy sing, dance, bop around and generally go crazy.

Through puppetry and props, with in-jokes for the grown-ups including memorable nods to swimmer Tom Daley and to Kylie's gold hotpants, this show was a riot of colour filled with smoothly animated characters.

The washing instructions were presented in an amusing fashion on great monoliths. Each of the bold and bright aliens, lovingly recreated from the pages of the book, bobbed and whizzed around and each showed their own distinct character traits.

My sons loved it and at one point my elder son said “I don't like this show, Mummy, I love it!”

Meanwhile, my younger son was simply entranced. They were both fully absorbed in the story and clever visuals and delighted by the whole thing. To reference the book, it truly was pants-tastic, with crazy pants elastic! Natalie Aldred



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