There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly

The Lowry, Salford Quays

CHILDREN’S entertainment sometimes reminds me of taking a wrong turn at a festival many moons ago.

You stumble into a tent at 2am where there’s some strange character whose sole purpose is to weird you out after three days of living in a field, with no sleep and fuelled by Scrumpy.

I’d say the Old Lady is getting on for something like that, as she shrieks ‘ahh-haaa!’ wondering what poor creature to devour next.

She’s not the type of old lady you’d invite round for tea (obviously, with those tastes) and you’d be hard pressed to describe her as charming.

But what is charming is being able to share a rhyme with your child that you grew up on.

And that’s what the entertaining folk from The People's Theatre Company helped the audience do at The Lowry, during their enjoyable one-off show this half term.

Aimed at anyone aged two and over, there was plenty to keep big and little kids entertained, from gobbledygook language to singalongs, jokes and silliness - with a futuristic twist.

Bringing one of the world’s best-loved nursery rhymes to life, the show was staged just in time to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Pam Adams’ best-selling book.

It ran for an hour and a quarter, with no interval, and most of the children seemed happily transfixed throughout. My little one, at 18-months-old, needed just one bag of dinosaur biscuits to keep him planted in his seat and contentedly watching, joining in with the actions and clapping away.

It’s hard to imagine a tale being penned in 2019 with the blunt line, ‘perhaps she’ll die’ and, in this show, there was a happy ending for the old lady.

Despite her goat-gobbling and dog-devouring ways, she survived and I actually don’t mind the deviation from the original.

There’s enough doom and gloom in the world so let the old lady live, I just hope I don’t bump into her in a tent at 2am in years to come.