Review: Fun and frolics with birthday puppy Spot

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Spot’s Birthday Party at The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Spot is a familiar character who has been entertaining tots with his lift-the-flap books for more than 30 years.

Spot’s Birthday Party brings the likeable pup to life and on to the stage in a gentle 55-minute performance aimed at pre-schoolers.

This is a great introduction to the theatre for the very small and I imagine many of the youngsters in the audience at the Lyceum were probably enjoying their first ever stage show – and, judging by their excited reactions, it won’t be the last.

The reason the show works so well is it is both simple and familiar.

Spot the Dog is celebrating his birthday with a party for his friends – Tom the crocodile, Helen the hippo and Steve the monkey.

The set is designed to look just like the pages of the Spot the Dog books and the costumes are effective in making the actors look just like the much-loved characters.

Action songs, dancing, games and magic kept the audience enthralled and as the children were encouraged to move about and join in – even playing a couple of rounds of musical statues - it didn’t matter if the younger ones were a bit fidgety.

As well as being lots of fun, there was plenty there to help toddlers learn – with counting, colours and even a performance of the fairytale Cinderella by the characters as part of their party entertainment.

Instead of the flaps you’d find in the Spot books, there were large doors and a small, friendly mouse puppet who kept popping up in surprising places, making the audience squeal in excitement.

The audience were even encouraged to draw Spot a birthday card at home and bring it along to the theatre with their artwork forming a part of the set.

Fun was the name of the game and the show ticked all the boxes for the under-fives.