The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 18th March 2023
Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth
Cbeebies, very popular, Hey Duggee is on its first ever tour and touring until August this year. With a short stop at the Lyceum, it is welcomed by a huge audience of kids, all donning their best Hey Duggee clothing, bags and other popular accessories! Hey Duggee is aimed at pre-schoolers mainly so suited to a younger audience and oh my they love it!
This production is very well rehearsed with different aspects to the show, to keep the little ones interested (thankfully) as it is almost an hour long and that hour can be quite long when you are the adult! There are some interactive stickers for the kids on arrival so if they are able to not unstick them straight away then they are used throughout when the children have earned their ‘Duggee’ badge.
The energy is on top form from all the cast that you get to see on stage. They work extremely hard to deliver three shows a day with so much gust involved! The majority are puppeteers controlling their characters. The puppets are well designed with some intricate details to ensure they can provide expressions. The cast are all super talented, providing beautiful singing voices and well-executed choreography by Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe-Mosca, which can’t be easy when you have some rather heavy looking puppets to hold or wrapped around some of their body parts (as Duggee is). Duggee is played by Benedict Hastings and he stands out with his indistinguishable Duggee voice, quite comforting in a way and the children love him! Lunga Anele-Skosana plays multiple roles and adapts well in each one. She provides a lot of singing and dancing (as the only person on stage without a puppet) in varying roles fantastically.
The set is designed by Jackie Trousdale and is a real treat. Stand out moments are the space segment, the lights go down and there is a spaceship that lights up, lots of different space related light up objects on the stage, which is visually appealing. Then they introduce the different planets and some of the planets (big bouncy balls) are thrown in to the audience which is really appreciated by the young theatre attendees.
A lovely 55-minute piece of theatre for the younger children: bright, loud and fun, leaving lots of smiles across many faces.