Stick Man Rose Theatre


Stick Man at the Rose Theatre

We review the Rose Theatre show – watch the streamed version online now ***Extended until 31 Jan!***

The annual Rose Theatre Christmas show is a highlight of the festive season, with the theatre producing an all bells and whistles spectacle, enlisting its youth group as the majority of its cast, alongside professional actors. But the pandemic put paid to its plans this year, and, understandably, it decided to postpone the highly anticipated Beauty & The Beast until next Christmas.

However, the Rose is testament to sheer resilience and it has managed to pull out of the bag a fantastic Christmas show, bringing in Freckle Productions and its take on the much-loved Julia Donaldson book Stick Man. There’s just a cast of three – a far cry from the usual Rose festive show, which packs the stage with a cast of many. But the three command the stage and the kids in the audience are quickly enthralled with this high energy performance with Jamie Coles as Stick Man, Georgina Duncan as Stick Lady Love, and Euan Wilson skilfully bringing in his musical talents.

Stick Man Rose Theatre

It romps along at a good pace with well-received silliness, some audience interaction, and the charming tale of Stick Man as he tries to make it back to his ‘family tree’ before Christmas. Even Santa makes an appearance at the end. The perfect festive show. Or at least it was. Just days after opening, London was plunged into a new lockdown and theatres had to shut their doors once more. It is gutting – clearly for theatres and performers and all the incredible folk who work behind the scenes. But also audiences – I did wonder if my children (aged 8 and 11) would be too old for this particular show but they were keen to go – they just love live theatre in all its forms and that’s saying something for two boys obsessed with screen-time and Fortnite. It’s particularly heartbreaking when you see how much effort has gone into the reopening of the Rose – the audience is at a much reduced capacity, there are temperature checks on arrival, we’re all wearing masks, and entry and exit times are staggered.

But with its typical indomitable spirit, the Rose has done the next best thing in keeping the magic alive this year and you can watch the recording of the last performance of Stick Man, beamed into your living room for £20 – money which will go to support the livelihoods of those who worked so hard on the production.

We wish the Rose and all of our incredible local theatres all the best and can’t wait until you can reopen again…

Upon purchase, the Stick Man stream is available to view for a 24-hour period at any time until 31 January.

Images are of a previous cast. (c) Robin Savage