It was an absolute delight to take my little boy to the theatre production of The Scarecrows’ Wedding, running at The Leicester Square Theatre this summer. It’s a love story we know well, having read it again and again before bed, so for Zachary, who is just 3, to see this book brought to life on stage was truly special.
Adapted from the bestselling children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (the writer and illustrator of The Gruffalo), this tale is full of amusing moments and country charm. It tells the heart-warming and playful love story of two scarecrows, Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay who are planning the best wedding ever.
As the lights go down, the auditorium fills with cheery folk music and sing-song, performed by the cast on guitar, banjo and accordion, with everyone clapping along in their seats. Straight away my little boy was transfixed and wore a giant smile on his face.
The pair of scarecrows are brought to life and giddily dance around on stage; they fall in love and decide to marry. As they plan their special day, they embark on a journey to collect all of the items from their list of wedding day essentials, including a dress made of feathers, a necklace made of shells, and of course, rings. But when Harry heads off into the unknown in search of pink flowers for his beloved Betty, the farmer soon replaces him with the suave and smooth-talking scarecrow, Reginald Rake. Dashing and daring, he vies for Betty’s attention and risks ruining their special day. Meanwhile, Harry’s adventures continue and he encounters some friends along the way to lend a helping hand, including a slow and sleepy snail and a regimented toad on a green space hopper.
The cast is made up of just three with the farmer playing all the supporting roles, something which made me smile but of course my little boy was none the wiser. He loved joining in, mooing when the scarecrows met the cows and clapping along to the songs. It is a fantastic, feel-good show, which has a delightfully happy ending and with a duration of 55 minutes it is perfect for little ones. Scamp Theatre clearly has worked hard on imbuing the spirit of Julia Donaldson into their adaptation of her works.
Running until 2nd September at The Leicester Square Theatre.