The Lowry, Salford – until 5 July 2015
Dominion Theatre, West End – 1 August-5 September 2015
This best-selling children’s book Aliens Love Underpants, written by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, is pretty much staple bedtime reading in our house. Now the hilarious family favourite, presented by Big Wooden Horse and Nick Brooke Limited, has been adapted for the stage by Adam Bampton-Smith.
Apparently, aliens love underpants of every size, shape and colour, but they can’t get their extraterrestrial fingers on any underpants in space so they have to obtain them by other means…
Most children find absolutely anything to do with underpants funny so the show is an immediate hit with Thing 2 (5 years old), and when he is asked by a member of the cast about his favourite pants, he promptly and proudly replies, “Dinosaur pants!”. This introduction acts as a frame story for the original tale and engages many of the children in the audience. The cast inform us that the original show has been cancelled (boo), but to avoid disappointment they will make up their own show (yay).
The talented cast of four, Mark Collier, Abigail Carter-Simpson, Eve Pearson-Wright and Alex James Ellison, take us through the well-loved tale which features original music, a highlight being the country and western line dancing pant shop owner. The audience is also treated to some real footage of Neil Armstrong on the moon, alien puppetry by Isla Shaw and lighting effects by Will Evans.
When our underpant hero Timmy (Alex James Ellison) comes around to solving the ancient riddle of the washing symbols, I did see that some children became quite restless – though, I have no doubt that many of the parents, including myself, saw it as an education. However, there was plenty of martian mischief and humorous interaction between the cast and the audience which kept most of the children gripped for the duration.
With a running time of 55 minutes and no interval, Aliens Love Underpants is a ‘laugh your pants off’ treat for those families with children aged from 3-8 years old.
Aliens Love Underpants is at The Lowry, Salford until 5th July 2015. It continues its tour at Theatre Royal, Wakefield on the 7th and 8th July 2015. For more tour dates and venues click here.