Guess How Much I Love You theatre review: Join Little & Big Nutbrown Hare in the stage version of  Sam McBratney’s story.

Guess How Much I Love You theatre review by Katey Thompson.

I took my children, a five and seven year old to the theatre thinking we were going to see Guess How Much I Love You.

As we walked into the theatre there was a lady on the stage who made the children think that perhaps they had missed the start of it and they were not sure what she was doing.  

The hares from the story were very similar in size and it was generally quite hard for my five year old to identify who was little and big nut brown hare. The comparative sizes of the characters and props were also quite hard for them to comprehend as the acorn was huge in relative to the lady.  

Her role on the stage was also puzzling for the younger members of the audience, and there were comments like ‘There are only bunnies in the book’ and ‘Why is she wearing pyjamas?’ She was Mother Nature but this was only identifiable from the press release.

Both of my children found the music magical, but unfortunately the songs were very repetitive and possible more suitable for children aged 18 months to no more than five years.  Since the production was marketed for children aged over three, we were part of a very small audience, and sadly parts of the story came across as being too grown up for the audience as made obvious by my seven year old’s comment of “I liked that they could switch the scenery quickly between the seasons; it seemed like a science lesson mixed into a bedtime story.”

The sage observations by my five year old included; “I know it was a man as he had the beard”, suggesting that the costumes could have been revitalised.  Also the lightweight story left them spending their time observing that “There were a lot of hinges” as the clunky summer scene arrived. The story took a long time to go though the seasons and they did not link winter to spring and therefore failed to close the circle, which was a shame.  Some of actions to the songs were fiddly, and very difficult for the children to do in their seats, but perhaps most unfortunately, there was no visual reference to the moon which is known by all as being the key part of being loved to the moon and back.

As we left, the first comment made was “It wasn’t like the story book as they went through the seasons instead,” and perhaps the most telling was youngest who said; “I think that little children would like it”.

Overall, this is an overly expensive, disappointing Easter treat for children, and sadly not one I, nor my children, will be repeating any time soon.

Guess How Much I Love You theatre review by Katey Thompson.

Guess How Much I Love You is running at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking until 7th April.

Guess How Much I Love You