The Sooty Show

The Ambassador’s Theatre, Woking

14th April 2014

Reviewed by Chris Wardle

This is a wonderful show for the young or the young at heart, as a packed audience ably proved with cheers, laughter and applause throughout the performance. Sooty has lost none of his magical appeal and he was joined by Sweep and Soo, of course, as well as two characters from the classic Sooty series, Ramsbottom the snake and Butch the bulldog.

Richard Cadell, as Sooty’s right hand man, is a terrific performer and anyone who wants to learn how to entertain children or family audiences should study Richard’s skill and the ease with which he engages a crowd. He makes it all look so easy, but he is a master of his craft and he knows every trick in the book.

The show takes the form of the preparations for and then the celebration of Sooty’s birthday, so classic routines, such as baking a cake, get the unique Sooty treatment. There are magical elements and effects interspersed throughout the show, with Sooty blowing up a balloon, Richard suffering the ‘broken stool’ gag and a giant version of the walnut shells and pea routine, using Sooty and three buckets! There is lots of slapstick for the little ones as well as pantomime gags and asides for the adults. When Richard is particularly cross with Sooty, he stares him in the face, challenging him with ‘Let’s see who blinks first!’

This is a really upbeat and lively production with songs, audience participation and a fast pace to keep everyone entertained. Within moments I was transported back to my own childhood watching Matthew Corbett and Sooty on TV. Check the theatres near you and go and see this great show with Richard Cadell proving that Sooty is on a very skilled and safe hand.

© Chris Wardle, April 2014