Oi Frog and Friends Review
We got to hop into the Lyric theatre for “Oi Frog! And Friends!” based on the hugely popular kids rhyming book series. Not knowing the books before we looked them up in advance to ensure we knew the background and the plethora of crazy rhymes they have in those book were brought onto the stage with a great mix of fun and silliness.
The hour is designed well to keep the young audience engaged. They even start this early by having the cast wonder the auditorium asking people for their favourite rhyming seats, which are posted to a rhyming box, and a selection are added to a song at the end of the show.
You wonder how they’ll transfer this into an engaging show and a show of just rhymes would quickly be tiresome but they’ve brought in a more coherent story than the books to frame the rhymes. As Cat follows the rules in her Rule Book Frog decides, after being forced to sit on a log, to amend them with rhymes of his own. It has some fun songs within a simple story and an energetic cast who encourage kids to shout out rhymes they know from the books, which they were more than happy to do. We particularly enjoyed the Stunt Cat back story and be sure to watch out for cameos from numerous of Frog’s friends.
There are parts of the show adults can enjoy. The puppetry of frog is excellent and there is an extremely cute and cleverly designed dog, who’s tail was wagging the entire time he was on stage. But it doesn’t have the intelligence of a Pixar movie or the clever script of a pantomime, meaning the show is restricted to being for kids only. But those kids will love it.
The hour of the show probably pushes the limits of the kid’s attention span (and parents) but it’s a great way to introduce kids to theatre who will all have left excited and no doubt driving parents crazy with new rhymes for the rest of the day.
It’s a clever adaptation and an enjoyable hour in the theatre which I’m sure families across the UK will enjoy over Christmas and the tour next year. We give this three stars.