Ad – Press Tickets
This week we were invited to the press night for the Mr Popper’s Penguins show at Sale Waterside Arts. (This post is marked as an Ad as our tickets were gifted, my full disclosure policy can be found here).
We have been reading Mr Popper’s Penguins together over the last month, and we even made a Mr Popper’s Penguins themed cake for the Home Ed bake off a week or two ago. The children absolutely adore this book and have really ‘lived’ the story as we read it together. We followed a bit of the study available here on Home School Share and all three children have been enthralled with the story.
We arrived at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale in plenty of time, (we parked at the suggested car park which is quite literally around the corner from the Arts Centre). I’ve not been there before, so wasn’t too sure what to expect but we were welcomed into the bar area where a fabulous penguin scene was set up. The children have all been a little under the weather but they soon perked up when they saw the mini igloos and penguins set up to play with. We had a drink and I was quite impressed with the bar area – there’s plenty of different drinks on offer and lots of tables and space; sometimes bars in theatres can feel a bit cramped but even when full, there was a good amount of space.
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Ad – this evening we were invited to the press night for Mr Popper's Penguins at Sale Waterside Arts. (@watersidearts_ ) We have been reading the original story this last month and of course did our bake off cake based on this book. The show was fabulous and kept true to the original story. It was fantastic. The kids were all laughing along and we absolutely loved playing along at being a penguin at the end. 🐧🐧 If you're local it's well worth a visit
We went into the theatre itself and found our seats. The stage was set and the children were really excited to see the show. They had a snack pack of milk and cookies each (slightly upset we didn’t get a cookie!) and we talked about whether we thought the stage show would be more in line with the book or the film version.
The Show itself
The Mr Popper’s Penguins show itself is around 65 minutes long (there’s no interval) and from the moment it starts to the very last second its a musical extravaganza and done so very well. I am always amazed at how the stage is transformed using some relatively simple props and just four actors. The cast do a fabulous job of bringing the story to life, and when Captain Cook makes an appearance there are audible gasps from the audience and people cooing at how wonderful and cute this little penguin is.
It’s laugh out loud funny at times – all three of my children loved it when the penguins were helping Mr Popper with the decorating and one ended up with purple paint on his head!
The stage show by Pins & Needles is true to the original story, although Daniel did point out that in the book one of the penguins is named Nelson (the attention to detail of a seven year old!!) but he agreed that it was very much in line with the book rather than the film version.
The penguins are utterly adorable and very lifelike – I defy anyone to have a huge smile on their face when Captain Cook arrives with the Popper’s.
The original story is from the 1930s and the language and attitudes in the book reflect the times. The stage show is sympathetically modernised; Mrs Popper isn’t left at home waiting for Mr Popper and she’s more of an equal (and Mr Popper gets a telling off from Mrs Popper when she tells Captain Cook about the house rules). But what we all really enjoyed was the show and its music and joyous fun. I love musical theatre and this was very much musical theatre. The songs are fantastic and we loved the end where we were all encouraged to learn to walk like a penguin!
Booking your tickets
Mr Popper’s Penguins is on at Sale Waterside Arts until 31 December with various showtimes.
British Sign Language (BSL) performances: Saturday 14 December at 11:00
Relaxed Performance: Saturday 14 December at 11:00
Discounts available for groups and low-income families – more info watersidearts.org/popperspenguins
We really enjoyed the show and Sale Waterside Arts is a fabulous place to take in a show; it’s somewhere I’ll be checking out again next year to see what shows will be coming along.