A low-budget and irritating beat hunt

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We’re Going On A Bear Hunt - The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

SOME books make for great films and stage shows. But can you take a classic children’s bedtime story – one which takes five minutes to read – and translate it into a one hour show?

I remain to be convinced.

Michael Rosen’s enchanting We’re Going on a Bear Hunt tells of a family’s rather bizarre day trip to hunt for a grizzly.

Through the “swishy swash” grass, the “squelch, squirch” mud and the “stumble, trip” forest – every page is a delight.

But from the moment the cast took to the stage here, singing, dancing and playing their own instruments I was irritated by this low budget affair.

Patronising (“yes parents you too can use towels to make a river when you get home”), rarely funny and ponderous (come on, just how long can you stretch hand painting with mud?) it never really engaged the audience. The only thing which livened proceedings came when the actors took something straight from a live Sooty show – the belief that if all else fails squirt the crowd with giant water pistols.

By the time they finally found the bear – after 50 long minutes – it turned out to be a 10ft teddy, which appeared to have been borrowed from an am dram panto. I reckon my kids would have had more fun there.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt was one of their favourite books. Sadly after this I don’t think they will be asking me to read it any time soon.