Room on the BroomLeft – Josie Cerise and Crystal Hegedis. Cover – Crystal Hegedis, Stephen Anderson, Josie Cerise and Damien Warren-Smith. Photos – Prudence Upton

British writer, playwright and performer, Julia Donaldson is best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, including The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, which have both been adapted for theatre.

Room on the Broom, a story about a flighty witch, her sassy cat and the characters who hitch a ride with them, is currently at the beautiful National Theatre in St Kilda, where it has been playing to a packed house since opening day.

The stage, though scantly decorated was brought to life by the performers, who more than made up for its spartan look, displaying their multi-skilled talents through clever and lively pantomime.

Stephen Anderson, Josie Cerise, Crystal Hegedis and Damien Warren-Smith take on multiple characters including the animation of a few puppets, which they managed to incorporate seamlessly with the other onstage personalities.

The theatre was brimming with small children who were captivated by the story being acted out, but their accompanying parents and/or guardians equally enjoyed the show, because of the adult-friendly humour which popped up here and there throughout the show.

At times the young audience was a bit chatty and somewhat distracted, the performers were very engaging and easily funneled the children’s attention back to the stage, through light participation and sing-alongs. I tip my hat to them for being such professionals that they are able to perform with a constant buzzing of tiny voices in the background.

Room on the Broom runs for approximately 55 minutes, perfect for its audience’s attention span, and it is a delightful piece of theatre to watch, regardless of one’s age.

CDP Theatre Producers presents
based on the book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Venue: National Theatre | Cnr Barkly & Carlisle Streets, St Kilda VIC
Dates: 2 – 6 July, 2013
Times: 10am, 12pm and 2pm
Bookings: Ticketmaster 136100

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