Nottingham Playhouse would appear to have a considerable, family-friendly, hit on its hands again with the return of Grandpa In My Pocket - Teamwork.
Based on the popular CBeebies TV show, this stage version by Mellie Buse and Jan Page was first seen at Nottingham Playhouse last summer and is playing again at the venue until May 31, before setting off on a national tour that stretches into late September
As with the TV show, the play, aimed at 3-11 year olds, centres around young Sunnysands resident Jason Mason, whose Grandpa just happens to own a magic shrinking cap that enables him to have some amazing adventures and allows him to get Jason and co out of some tricky scrapes.
In the stage show, Jason and popular TV characters such as Jemima, Great Aunt Loretta and Mr Whoops set out in search of treasure when they head to Bongle Island with local pirate Heave Ho Horatio.
But when things start to go awry, it’s pint-sized Grandpa who comes to the rescue.
For young theatregoers - and the young at heart too - this show has all the required ingredients.
There are all of the favourite characters from the TV show, songs, dancing, colourful costumes, impressive sets, a shrinking pensioner, a flock of Bongle birds, laughs aplenty and lots more beside.
Page and Buse were the creators of the TV show so this stage version is in very safe hands and the behind-the-scenes team including director Rosamunde Hutt, designer Nettie Scriven and composer and musical director Kate Edgar have combined to create a terrific theatrical experience for families.
Of the six-strong cast, Javan Hughes is spot-on as Jason Mason and the other five actors play multiple roles with bags of verve, bringing the array of quirky characters to life and entrancing audience members throughout with their versatility and energy.
Youngsters also seemed to like the nifty way they managed to portray the process of Grandpa shrinking without the aid of fancy special effects.
All in all, I can’t praise this production highly enough. It shows that teamwork really does pay off.