Thursday 19 April 2018


There aren't many children's books that are still as popular today as they were back in the day. But Dear Zoo is one of those classics that everyone has read! First released in 1982, this book has been a massive hit with children over the years and has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

Dear Zoo has now been transformed into a colourful stage show and we were lucky enough to see it when it came to the Lighthouse, Poole.

If you're not familiar with the book, it tells the story of Ben (played by Harrison Spiers in the show) who writes to the zoo requesting a pet. Lots of animals are sent..but not all of them are suitable! It is such a simple book and perfect for little ones and I was quite intrigued to see how it would work on the stage.

As we entered the theatre, the stage was set out as a brightly covered garden. With a brief introduction from Sam the Zookeeper (Aaron Spendelow), we were introduced to Ben and his friend Sally (Molly Waters). Bounding around with the stage with lots of enthusiasm, they were engaging and very believable as their characters!

Soon, the zoo animals started arriving with Sam the Zookeeper. Following the illustrations in the book, the props/animal crates were all immediately recognisable and the children were very keen to see what was inside. With some animal songs and lots of audience interaction, the children in the audience were entralled.

Most of the animals were puppets but the naughty monkey and the frog were hopping around the stage causing mayhem!

If you know the story then you'll know that eventually, Sam brings an animal which is a bit more suitable but I won't give away too much ;)

This is a lovely stage show and perfect for an introduction to theatre for children. The recommended age range is 2-6 but I think younger audiences would enjoy it too, Erin certainly did and she's only 15 months old. The show is 50 minutes long which is just the right length of time to hold their attention. It helps that audience participation is encouraged so you don't feel so bad if your child gets a bit fidgety!

The Dear Zoo Live show is currently touring the UK, for more information on dates and how to book tickets, take a look at their website

*Disclaimer - We were provided these tickets in exchange for an honest review but I think the big smile in the photo above says alot about how much he enjoyed it! :)

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