Review: The Scarecrows’ Wedding at Norwich Playhouse

November 20, 2019

Yesterday M and I went to see a production of The Scarecrows’ Wedding at Norwich Playhouse, with her preschool. We had such a wonderful time that I emailed the Playhouse to ask if they could send me some press images of the production, in order to write this review.

The Scarecrows’ Wedding is a musical adaptation of the Julia Donaldson book. In case you’re not familiar with the story, it’s about two scarecrows, Betty McBarley and Harry O’Hay, who decide to get married. They make a list of things they’ll need for their wedding, then set off around the farm trying to find them. But Harry gets waylaid by an exceptionally slow snail; will he make his way back to Betty before she falls for Reginald Rake?

The Scamp Theatre production is a three-man show (well, two men and one woman!). Betty and Harry are consistently portrayed by the same actors throughout, while Michael Palmer played all of the other characters. Somehow, he managed to do this in a way which eliminated all confusion, even for three year olds, as M seemed to be fully engaged throughout. My personal highlights were the sock puppet geese and the Mexican sombrero-wearing crab.

The Scarecrows’ Wedding had something for everyone; the perfect mix of beautiful singing and expert musicality, with a little bit of panto and even a Brexit joke thrown in (yep, you can’t even escape it at the theatre)! M was beyond impressed when Betty, who had up to then been playing the violin, whipped out a trumpet and played it effortlessly.

I don’t want to say too much more because I don’t want to give any of the highlights away; the pleasure of watching was that it was so clever and unexpected. The whole show lasted for approximately one hour. It was probably just about the right amount of time for a three year old; although perhaps just one slightly-unnecessary-but-very-lovely-nonetheless ballad too long.

M had such a wonderful time, laughing along, clapping to the music and interacting with the actors. This was her first visit to the theatre, but it certainly won’t be the last and we’ll be on the lookout for future Scamp Theatre productions locally.

We were very lucky to see The Scarecrows’ Wedding on the first day of its run at Norwich Playhouse. If you’d like to see it, it’s running until 24th November, and there are still some tickets available on the Playhouse website.

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