REVIEW: Hetty Feather, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Until October 11

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal. Phoebe Thomas as Hetty Feather.
Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal. Phoebe Thomas as Hetty Feather.
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Roll up, roll up, the most wonderful family show is in town.

The story of Jacqueline Wilson’s feisty character Hetty Feather has been brought to the stage in a spectacular circus setting.

I was such a huge fan of the author’s books when I was a little girl, and now that my niece reads them, I couldn’t resist taking her along to see this show.

My inner child came bursting out as I chuckled at character’s falling and hurting their bums and playing in an imaginary world as baby birds and squirrels.

The show, set in Victorian times, tells the life story of Hetty Feather (Phoebe Thomas) who is left by her mother at the Foundling Hospital as a baby.

She is raised by foster mother Peg (Sarah Goddard) along with Gideon (Mark Kane), Saul (Nik Howden) and Peg’s biological son Jem (Matt Costain) until she’s nearly six and must go back to the Foundling Hospital for a regimented life of schooling.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

The show sees Hetty narrate her own life, with Thomas on stage providing the audience with the inner thoughts and feelings of baby Hetty, before stepping into the role herself to steer the story.

Thomas is marvellous. She really captures the fiery spirit and sweet innocence of the character.

The cast spectacularly portray the magic of what it’s like to be a child, with no inhibitions and just plain fun, running around on imaginary horses and climbing trees. Their daft facial expressions and ability to completely let themselves go in their roles was fantastic.

The circus-style show sees the actors dangling high above the stage on silks and ropes, and it gave the show an exciting and stunning visual appeal.

Like with Wilson’s books, the show deals with some harrowing issues like death and abandonment in such a clever way. It was sad but uplifting and magical at the same time.

Live on-stage music, provided by Seamus H Carey and Luke Potter, who kicked off the show with a few songs, added another fantastic element to the show.

It wasn’t really a musical, but the odd song sprinkled throughout the proceedings was a lovely touch and the musicians used just about every instrument under the sun to provide a fitting soundtrack.

Like with Wilson’s books, the show deals with some harrowing issues like death and abandonment in such a clever way. It was sad but uplifting and magical at the same time.

The show made my inner child so happy and my outer adult very emotional.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather runs at the Theatre Royal until Sunday, October 11. Click here to book tickets.

Twitter: @vickinewmanjp

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Hetty Feather is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.