A short but fun children’s show is currently in residence at the National Theatre’s temporary performance space, The Shed.
‘I Want My Hat Back’ is a musical play about a bear who has a nice red pointy hat, falls asleep, and has it stolen by a passing rabbit. He asks passing animals, birds and insects if they have seen it, before figuring out the culprit, taking revenge, and then, in penance, giving his special possession away to a friendly caterpillar who blossoms into a beautiful golden butterfly.
Based on the book written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, this is both funny and dark (perhaps some of the plot might upset sensitive children, both those in the audience in the performance we saw were having a great time). There is even the panto element of a ‘he’s behind you’ moment which is hilarious.
Joel Horwood and Arthur Darvill have contributed fun songs, and the small ensemble – Marek Larwood as Bear, Steven Webb as Rabbit, with Natalie Klamar, Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Oliver Birch, Pieter Lawman, Richie Hart and Adam Pleeth – have the humour and energy required for a show billed as ‘for children aged 3 to 300’.