Find out whether critics thought this new musical adaptation based on Dodie Smith’s classic story was a success or not.

(c)Mark Senior

The Guardian: ** “The show certainly improves as it goes along, and it works best as a children’s show: my two young nieces stayed hooked throughout on press night. So, perhaps a crowd-pleaser for the kids but one which may leave some parents wanting to go walkies.”

The Metro: **** “And although Zinnie Harris’s adaptation of Dodie Smith’s original novel peddles dog-eared observations about populist politics (Cruella’s coat of many pelts and of just the two colours will promote her manifesto of ‘British dogs for British people’), there are thought-provoking insights about the life of influencers.”

West End Best Friend: *** “The highlight of the show is most definitely Casper and Jasper (Jonny Weldon and George Bukhari) who have such brilliant chemistry and comedic timing, they have everyone laughing out loud. We found ourselves wishing they were given their own number to enjoy the rapport they are able to build up with the audience. The set design from Colin Richmond is gorgeous, making the most of its Regent’s Park location. And finally the children involved in this production (of which there are four each night) are fantastic, holding the stage by themselves with ease.”

Time Out: *** “My kids didn’t care about any of this: they enjoyed two hours of a lighthearted good vs evil yarn with some cool puppets and a boo-hissable villain. They didn’t worry about the merits of ‘101 Dalmatians’ as a musical for the ages. And if you can take the same attitude, you’ll have a blast, or at least you’ll have a blast in the good bits. But ultimately the Open Air Theatre is one of the best musical theatre venues in London, and by its own extremely lofty standards, ‘101 Dalmatians’ is a bit of a dog’s dinner.”

Evening Standard: **** “Rather than Disney, the production echoes the fizz and physical elasticity of a Road Runner cartoon, courtesy of director Timothy Sheader and set and costume designers Colin Richmond and Katrina Lindsay. A madcap car chase, and the transformation of Cruella – eyeballs popping, limbs telescoping, tongue unrolling like a carpet – are laugh-out-loud high points.”

City Am: “The dalmatians themselves – or at least the two main ones, the rest are bodiless heads – are brought to life by some genuinely spectacular puppetry, with the head and front paws controlled by one puppeteer and the hindquarters by a second wearing spotty trousers, standing tall over the animal like a projection of its personality. The way they move is incredibly lifelike, from their distinctive gallop to the way they use their hind legs to scratch their ears. They’re a joy.”

WhatsOnStage: ** “The score is courtesy of multi-award-winning actor Douglas Hodge and though it contains a handful of pleasant melodies and fleeting moments of wit, there are as many juvenile lyrics peppered with cringeworthy nods to social media culture. The most damning indictment of the material is that it lacks sophistication throughout and critically there is little with which to form any kind of emotional connection.”

Pocket Size Theatre: ** “As Cruella, Kate Fleetwood is a triumph. She brings an empty script with not a lot of background to life and for someone who is not known as a singer, she brings the house down with powerful vocals. The score seems to have been written for an actor who doesn’t have a strong voice, but Fleetwood does and this should have been amended to showcase her talents.”

London Unattached: “The dalmatians are cleverly portrayed with wonderful puppet heads and torsos with human hind legs, tails and voices. Puppetry is taking the theatre world by storm these days and here Toby Olié’s Puppetry Design and Direction is exceptional, he magically captures the natural features and movements of the dogs making them truly believable. The puppies are cutely portrayed with nothing more than heads and tails, and there are a lot of them! They work better in the second half when they are charmingly played by four young actors (Charlie Man-Evans, Rhiya Rasalingam, Charlie McGonagle and Hadlee Snow on the evening of this performance).”

Broadway World: *** “This is a family-friendly production and children will love it, but there is little to keep the adults entertained. A few more witty asides and a more engaging script would be welcome.”

London Theatre.co.uk: *** “There are flashes of creative brilliance here, such as a wonderful song-and-dance interpretation of the Twilight Barking, and there’s a pervasive plucky British spirit that is very endearing. In that sense, as well as in some of its presentation (see: those giant letters), it’s rather like Matilda, but it crucially lacks Tim Minchin’s sensational score, a slickness in the staging, and some real darkness.”

The Telegraph: **** “This long delayed musical version of the Dodie Smith classic feels like a success almost despite itself.”

Theatre Weekly: “The extraordinarily large litter of puppies are mostly just heads on the hands of the ensemble, popping up from the unlikeliest of places, and for a moment it almost becomes Whack-A-Mole the Musical. Children in the audience will enjoy it, but when some young cast members appear dressed as puppies, and then an actual Dalmatian puppy is carried on stage, it’s like a ‘here’s what you could have won’ moment.  Like everything else in this show, it meant well but never quite delivered.”

London Theatre1: ** “I take the point a fellow patron made as we were leaving the theatre – for her, the show was very relevant, peppered as it was with some subtle, and not so subtle, topical references to current affairs. The show’s conclusion could be interpreted as preaching a sermon in support of helping refugees and asylum seekers. If only the rest of the show had similar levels of spirited passion, it might have been a more satisfying evening.”

The Stage: *** “Timothy Sheader’s version of Zinnie Harris’ musical at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is hectic but enjoyable.”

101 Dalmatians will play at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre  until the 28th August.