I was so excited to hear one of my favourite childhood books was coming to Sydney. The Tiger Who Came To Tea was first published in 1968 and has been one of the best-selling children’s books of all time!
My girls also love the book, and Miss 4 was so excited to be heading to the Opera House to see it live on stage. She invited one of her favourite friends, and we all made the adventure on ferry from Kirribilli on a beautiful Sydney day. The ferry ride in itself was such fun and an adventure.
After catching the ferry to Circular Quay, we walked around to the Opera Kitchen to enjoy some lunch before the performance at 1.30pm. The Opera Kitchen offers fabulous harbour views and quick gourmet food. Our lunch arrived within 10 minutes of ordering and the restaurant was full.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea is being performed in the smaller theatre at the Opera House, The Playhouse. The theatre is small and intimate, and perfect for little ones to feel close to the stage and part of the action!
The play had both girls mesmerised from the start. There are three actors who play the roles of Sophie, Sophie’s mum and Sophie’s dad. To start the performance, the actors welcomed all the children and encouraged them to be part of the performance. Encouraging participation and movement is so important for theatre aimed at this age group, and they did so in a very fun way.
The performance was full of comedy which Miss 4 loved. For example, in the first scene Sophie’s dad was getting ready for work and was running late as usual! He put his shoes in the toaster, the tea cosy on his head instead of his hat and couldn’t put on his own jacket. The little ones laughed along and were immediately engaged in the story.
The clock on stage was an integral part of telling the story of the play which revolves around meal times at Sophie’s house – breakfast, ‘elevenses’, lunch and dinner. Children were encouraged to participate as the performers counted the numbers on the clock to show what part of the day it was.
When the tiger eventually knocks on the door after several scenes with the milkman and postman, it is very exciting! I was shocked by how life-like the tiger was. At first he could be a bit scary for little ones but once he started dancing and wiggling his bottom, he had them all laughing.
The special effects were delightful and were the thing that made the performance memorable. The tiger eating all the food in the kitchen was made to feel real and definitely have sparked the imagination of all the children. The girls were up and dancing for parts of the performance and singing along to the actors. The performance went for just under an hour and was the perfect length for under 10’s.
We left the performance with smiles on our faces! The play was a delight and made for a special day out.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea is showing at The Sydney Opera House until 28 December 2014. Tickets from $30. Click here for more details.