My husband, three-year-old and I were invited to see the live stage production of Oi Frog & Friends this morning (Saturday 26 February) at Lighthouse, Poole, and if I had to sum it up in just three words they would be: zany, fun and delightful.
Based on the bestselling books by Kes Gray and Jim Field, which my son absolutely loves, the stage adaptation takes place at The Sittingbottom School for Animals. Frog, a creative rebel, is looking for a place to sit, but the sardonic rule-keeper Cat has other ideas and Dog (the go-between) is happy to play along. Little do they know that chaos is coming – Frog is about to steal Cat’s rule book and change who is allowed to sit where. No longer will “Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools, gophers sit on sofas and frogs sit on logs.” But, ‘Dogs will sit on logs, cats will sit on gnats, mice will sit on ice, and poor whales, will sit on nails!’ Needless to say, Frog gets a little bit carried away…
Oi Frog & Friends is action-packed – loaded with original songs, puppets, laughs, silliness (my son loved the toilet humour), and of course, more rhyme that you can shake a chime at! The staging and costumes are brilliant too. And I loved the addition of the digital chalkboard that included loads of great illustrations from the much-loved children’s books.
My son was entertained throughout the 60 minute stage-show. Laughing, smiling and clapping with the biggest smile on his face throughout. What’s great is that they involve the audience too. Asking everyone to guess the animal rhymes and sing along to the songs. If you can, try and arrive a bit early. The cast come into the audience and ask the children their names and if they can think of a rhyming word of what they could sit on. My son Jack, sits on sacks for example. And the girl sat next to us, Jane, sits on planes. Spoiler alert: they read them all out at the end of the show, much to the delight of the young members of the audience as they recognise their name.
Oi Frog & Friends will remind you of The Muppet Show – using vibrant costumes, songs and silliness to inform their storytelling. And it works. Every child sat with us at Lighthouse, Poole had the most wonderful time, evident from the huge round of applause and cheering at the end of this morning’s production. It’s no wonder it’s been nominated for awards. I hope the cast and crew fill a whole trophy cabinet for the happiness they brought my little boy today!
If you can, go and see Oi Frog & Friends – it’s of course intended for children (of all ages), but adults, you’ll love it too! It ends its run at Poole Lighthouse on Sunday 27 February, but then moves on to other towns and cities throughout the UK from March to June including Croydon, Exeter, York, Taunton, Cardiff, Coventry, Birmingham and Glasgow. You can view all dates and venues for the tour on Oi Frog & Friends website.
My son’s review as we left the theatre: “I loved Oi Frog. It was such good fun.” And I’m sure he’ll be telling all his friends the same when he sees them too.