The fantastic family show We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is once again putting an irresistible West End grin on the faces of young and old alike, in this, its 10th anniversary on stage; below, cast member Rebecca Newman tells us how.
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Live On Stage is a bonkers adaptation of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s book which sees Dad, Boy, Girl, Baby and Buddy the dog go out on an adventure to find a bear.
The book is so enduring, a brilliant story with campfire style repetition and beautiful images which capture readers’ imaginations, so we really feel like we’re on a bear hunt with the family. We as a cast want the audience to come along with us on the adventure as well, and with Sally Cookson’s direction and Benji Bower’s music we bring the book to life with as much silliness as we can possibly muster. The river and the mud are particularly life-like – SQUELCH! – so the audience cannot help but come along on the expedition with us.
It’s incredible that the show is celebrating its 10th anniversary. I think the joyful, riotous nature of the show is a timeless thing. Having fun with your family on a day out is what life is all about, and that’s what We’re Going On A Bear Hunt promises you in spades. Plus, who doesn’t love a big cuddly bear?
I play the young girl in the show, who is just called Girl. We don’t know much more about her, so it’s been wonderful to create the character. I think she is about 7 years old, excellent at ballet and a germaphobe.
I’ve been with the show on and off for two years now, and I have loved every moment of it. There is so much room in this show for play and having fun. Every performance feels fresh and fizzy, and hopefully audiences can tell how much fun we’re all having when they see it! The songs are a delight to perform and I’ve learnt to play the washboard for it, so now I have a new special skill!
As a performer, children are the best audience because they are so honest. It’s so wonderful to look out and see their faces all lit up and excited as they work out what is about to happen. We encourage them to shout out and get involved as well – so they keep us on our toes! The best bit for me is when they see our big surprise at the end of the show. But I couldn’t possibly tell you what that is…
See the surprise for yourself! We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is participating in Kids Week this year; throughout August, a child aged 16 or under can go free when accompanied by an adult paying full price.