A confession to begin… I have not read any of Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s Treehouse books (and there are four). I am, however, the mother of a 10 year old voracious reader with a wicked sense of humour so I certainly have access and am now a veteran of the rather excellent stage adaptations of the first two of the series.
Having seen last year’s production of The 13-Storey Treehouse, I set out with anticipation for the second instalment with my two 10 year old companions (my daughter and her best friend).
The Opera House on a sunny Sydney day has to be one of the best places to be and we spent some time before the show enjoying the atmosphere (and the lunch) outside the Playhouse theatre. Plenty of entertainment was on offer for the kids – a sandpit, animal displays from Taronga Zoo and a Lego Creativity centre all available.
The show itself gives us the continuation of Andy and Terry’s adventures in their treehouse, now extended to 26 storeys – complete with bowling alley, ice cream scooping robot and mechanical bull named Kevin amongst a multitude of other amazing additions. With their animal loving neighbour Jill and a mysterious guest star who may not be who he seems, they tell the story of how the three friends met – victims of sad childhoods filled with fiercely over protective parents, no pets and families who made them brush their teeth. EVERY night! For two whole minutes!
The staging is simple but highly effective, transporting the audience from treehouse, to man eating shark tank, to the poop deck of a pirate ship (where else!) and back again with just a dash of imagination. The cast were vastly entertaining, playing to the predominantly primary school age audience at just the right level. The humour is perfectly pitched at the pre teen age group – because dirty underpants swallowed by an unlucky shark is never not funny – with plenty of giggles coming from the grown ups as well.
As a keen theatre goer, my 10 year old critic would also like to put in her opinion…
After watching The 13-Storey Treehouse last year, I was excited to see The 26-Storey Treehouse this year. I found it really funny, too funny to pick a favourite part as I laughed all the way through. I could relate to the characters, especially Andy as my horrible parents also make me clean my room, brush my teeth and refuse to hire servants so I have to help out around the house. It definitely helps if you have read the books, but you can enjoy it even if you haven’t. I would say this show is for people from 5 – 105 and I give it 5 stars!
The 26-Storey Treehouse was a very enjoyable theatre experience for all of us. I am a fan of anything that gets kids reading and these books are doing just that. We are looking forward eagerly to the next performance when it appears the treehouse will have grown to 52 storeys!
The 26-Storey Treehouse is showing at The Opera House until Sunday 1 February. Suitable for children 6+. Duration: 55 minutes. Click here for more details.