Sarah and Duck, currently playing at the lovely Polka theatre at Wimbledon and shortly to go on tour, is billed for 3 to 6 year olds, but is truly a treat for all ages.

My 3 year old aficionado of the series was transfixed from start to finish, but my 6 and 8 year olds loved it as well. Hugely imaginative and packed with endless charming and inventive details which drew smiles of amusement and appreciation from the older members of the audience, and audible joy from the younger ones, it wove a magical spell over the whole theatre.

Each of the puppets was delightful, and dextrously and beautifully brought to life by the tireless and excellent cast. Highlights included: duck flying from a cannon – causing the little boy next to us to shout out “go on duck!” overcome with giddy excitement - and ending up head first, bottoms up in some shrubbery and emerging bedecked with leaves; a tight-rope walking Flamingo loosing his nerve; and sparkling night sky constellations.

At times, perhaps little too much was going on, meaning that some of the clever touches didn’t get the attention they deserved, and the soporific singing from Moon didn’t always rise about the background chatter of a very youthful audience. But I found myself smiling throughout the first half.

At the start of the second half, it lost its way slightly, and with it the attention of the very youngest watchers, as the plot became a little over complicated and convoluted. But it came resoundingly back on course with a wonderfully colourful Big Top finale, with the Shallots performing acrobatics, groovy dancing from Scooter Boy, and an amazing firework display and dance from Sarah herself.

With bubbles, ribbons from the sky in homage to the Ribbon Sisters, dancing penguins, and gentle humour, it served up everything that a small child (or their parent) could hope for. A hugely enjoyable and utterly charming show.
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