Review : Whisker's First Winter

Tickets were provided in exchange for review

This weekend we headed over to Cast in Doncaster to watch Odd Doll theater Company production of Whisker’s First Winter. Odd Doll theater are a Yorkshire based company who are known for using physical storytelling, handcrafted puppetry, original music and distinctive design in their highly visual and accessible theater performances. Whisker’s is the companies fifth production and will be touring nationally in 2020.

Whisker’s First Winter is aimed at children aged 2-6 and so I was a little worried what the girls aged 7 and 9 would think. Nonetheless we were looking forward to the performance and headed over to the theater door. We were politely asked to remove our shoes, which we did and then entered the Winter wonderland. We were initially greeted by a man in a ski mask, which if I am honest felt rather odd, especially since he seemed to sit at the side of the stage for the entire performance and not move. Could he perhaps have worn something more friendly?

There are no assigned seats and we struggled to find 5 seats together, I would recommend getting there as early as possible. Finding two remaining white cushions and giving them to my youngest two children. My Mum, my eldest and I sitting on the hard step. It was rather a tight squeeze and not the most comfortable of surface to sit on. The set however was stunning. A white winter wonderland lay in front of us and the two performers were blowing snow around the theater. The whole set felt magical.

The performance lasts for 45 minutes and there is no interval. The performers themselves are incredibly talented, telling the story using movement only is an amazing skill but I did wonder if Little Man at 3 years old understood some of the references. I am not sure he understood when Whiskers was playing in the snow for example, or when he was standing on ice. At certain points he did look to be concentrating very hard and trying to work out what was happening. My Mum said after that perhaps a narrator would have been a good idea, not necessarily for the whole show but in certain parts to just help the younger audience members to understand the story better. 

The show is brought to life with the use of music and lights and this does aid in telling the story. Little Man seemed to enjoy the fish the most, reaching out and trying to touch them although I am not sure he understood why there were fish there. I think the pace of the show was just right for him and I would say 3-4 years is perhaps the best age to enjoy the show. Regardless of age I think everyone enjoyed meeting the characters after the show and giving Whisker a high five.

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