Review: Hairy (Polka Theatre)

A large, furry blob is centre stage as we arrive. “Do you think that is Hairy”, said a child to my left. Was it? You’ll have to wait and see.

Hairy is Spymonkey’s first show for children, bringing their comedy credentials into an hour of music, science, audience participation, bubbles and general silliness.

Be prepared for bad hair jokes throughout and a lot of laughter as Hairnry arrives at Mission Control with one wish, to be a Head Hair. Can he pass the required trials and find hinself accepted into the greatest of follicles?

Production photo for Hairy

Children are notoriously harsh critics, but the audience of youngsters here seemed entertained throughout, some very vocally so!

Gestures, shout outs, and even an early variation on the panto staple of ‘he’s behind you’ all went down well. Lively, bold and energetic, Hairy is the perfect family show.

The quartet of performers (Jasmine Chiu, John-Luke Roberts, Katie Grace, and Matthew Faucher) gelled together well and connected with the audience with ease; Polka’s main space seats 300, so you need to play big without overdoing it.

Production photo for Hairy

Everyone understood the role and made Hairy work in terms of pacing, storytelling, and movement. Co-creators and directors Toby Park and Aitor Basauri have pitched this show just right to educate and entertain, with Lucy Bradridge’s set and costume design giving the imagination chance to fly.

Shows for children can often pitch too low or are written to please the creators and performers, not the audience. Hairy has a blend that offers both a simple fart joke and an old dial-up tone for parents. It hits the spot with great ease.

Hairy is running at Polka Theatre until 20 Aug and is aimed at audiences over 5 years old. You can purchase tickets here.

It moves on to Worthing Theatres from 24-28 Aug: tickets here.


Image credit: Steve Gregson