Review Round Up: Winnie the Pooh, Riverside Studios

Find out what critics have made of the musical adaptation of Winnie the Pooh with our review round up.

(c)Pamela Raith

Broadway World: **** “This new stage show is full of of heartwarming and wholesome joy. It will be enjoyed by many – from first time theatre goers to big kids of all ages!”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Some of its stand-out moments are also its quietest. The selection of Pooh’s famous ‘hums’ (scored by Nate Edmondson), Eeyore stopping to admire a butterfly, or Christopher Robin – when he finally gets back from school – embracing his imaginary creation. Although it may not leave you rolling in the aisles, it should certainly help you shed the last vestiges of winter blues. Right now we could all do with a little more Pooh.”

Time Out: *** “The titular hunny-loving bear’s Hundred Acre Wood home is represented by a lush, inviting multi-section set, and a decent-sized team of puppeteers-slash-actors that enable the wood to remain well-populated, with several of Pooh’s pals – Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, etc – able to be on stage at a given time. The puppets are nice too: literal in design, but that’s all to the good when you’re aiming at three-year-olds: they have an impressive chunkiness and solidity them, some serious presence.”

Theatre Weekly: “Rockefeller’s plush puppets are gorgeous to look at, and even the older audience members may feel the urge to give them a quick cuddle, because this is a show that takes us back to the innocence of childhood, and reminds us of the importance of friendship and looking out for each other.”

All That Dazzles: **** “The title role of Winnie The Pooh is played by Jake Bazel, reprising his role from the production in New York. Jake is a marvel in the role, completely becoming the character and embodying all of his characteristics. From the note-perfect voice to the lethargic movement, Jake and Winnie become one and the same in a joyous performance that could make a fully grown adult feel like a kid again.”

The Stage: *** “AA Milne’s classic characters become life-sized puppets in this by-numbers stage adaptation.”

The New European: “Real quality in children’s entertainment can always transcend the generations, and everyone involved gives it everything they’ve got, not least Jake Bazel in the title role, at once manipulating the honey-addicted bear and providing him with a rich, flavoursome and thick-set voice. Robbie Noonan, meanwhile, has a lot of fun as Tigger and Alex Cardall is a splendidly lugubrious Eeyore. Piglet and Kanga, meanwhile, are both splendidly played by women – respectively, Lottie Grogan and Chloe Gentles. Christopher Robin put in a somewhat belated but nevertheless charming appearance in the shape of George Menezes Cutts.”

Everything Theatre: **** “It’s a carefully paced, active production that keeps the young audience hooked; breaking up the scenes with some terrific songs that are all familiar from the original movie or adapted from AA Milne’s book, and great for a singalong. We hear all the classic sayings that we know so well, and there are some magical, exciting surprises to mark the changing seasons with fabulous impact. I so want to tell you more but it would spoil it. Go see for yourself!”

The Guardian: ** “For some fans, the joy of seeing these characters lumber on to the stage might be exciting enough, and the puppets themselves are lovely. Rabbit, Owl and Eeyore are especially striking but the characters have limited lines and bare-boned personalities. It is Tigger (Robbie Noonan) who brings the entertainment and exuberant energy when he turns up halfway in but he cannot redeem the show single-handedly. His songs, The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers and Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce, are highlights but the score can often sound like a Christmas jingle.”

Lou Reviews:**** “On the stage, the puppetry and detail was lovely, AA Milne’s stories were easily translated to live performance, and several songs made an appearance (notably the Tigger song we all know from the original Disney film).”

To find out more about the show and tour dates visit:

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