London with kids Christmas ideas {Part 4}: Mr Popper’s Penguins (Criterion Theatre)

If you’re wondering whether to take your children to the theatre this Christmas, or thinking what should I take the children to see in the West End this Christmas, I have the answer for you: Mr Popper’s Penguins at the Criterion Theatre. Packed full of retro charm and adorable heart warming penguins with the pitter patter of little penguin feet, we absolutely loved Mr Popper’s Penguins. Mr & Mrs Popper and their remarkable family of performing penguin puppets come to the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End direct from a UK tour and US première at New York’s renowned New Victory Theatre and we were invited to attend with our little critics to give a review.

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Based on the book by Richard and Florence Atwater (and following a successful film adaption) although we didn’t know about either of these before we went, Mr Popper’s Penguins is the story of an Antarctic loving painter & decorator and his subsequent delight and the hilarity which ensues when he receives a packing crate from the Southern oceans containing a penguin.

Both M and I enjoyed the performance as much as Pip and Buster – the animated penguins are absolutely adorable and the acting such that after the first few moments you sort of cease to notice the penguins are being operated by actors. I thought the costumes and acting were fabulous and there was just the right amount of audience interaction and participation but it was still primarily a musical theatre production rather than a pantomime. The snow that fell in the stalls towards the end added an air of Christmas magic to it – the delight on the children’s faces watching was heart warming! The performance was festive without actually being Christmassy at all and was utterly charming. Our spirits were most definitely lifted.

Pip particularly loved the baby penguins and I loved the meta ‘show within a show’ element and the use of the stage and different characterisations by only 4 actors. 5 out of 5 from all of us!

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Tickets: £14.50 – £23.75 – show is 60 mins and is on until 31 December 2016

Criterion Theatre 218-223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, London W1V 9LB

We were kindly given press tickets to the performance. I received no payment for this post. {Photos provided by the PR company}

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