Nickleodeon’s live staging of the popular show Dora The Explorer has already been seen by over 2 million people across the pond and it’s easy to see why. With a simple storyline, high energy songs and dances and a structure that exactly echoes that of the television show, it had the audience – children and adults – rapt throughout. I have no doubt it will prove just as popular in the UK.
Taking your child to the theatre to see one of their favourite books or shows brought to life can be either a rapturous or disappointing experience. I won’t easily forget my daughter’s palpable disappointment after seeing a production of Julia Donaldson’s Snail And The Whale, in which she spent the entire show waiting for the whale to appear, only to be disappointed when it turned out that this stage rendition left rather too much to the imagination for a child of her age. There were tears on the way home. The American show Dora The Explorer is possibly her favourite programme, and certainly one of the most enduring, as its educational content means that it is possible for older children to enjoy it on a different level to younger children. I was therefore anxious to see how successfully they would bring the bright array of characters to life on the stage and capture the interactive nature of the programme.
The two-act staging tells the story of Dora’s lost teddy bear Osito who, it transpires, can be found in The City of Lost Toys. Dora, together with her trusty friend Boots the Monkey, therefore sets off to find Osito, and along the way meets up with old friends such as Benny The Bull and old enemies like Swiper The Fox. There are no disappointments here. All of the best songs are sung with gusto, all of the characters known and loved from the show are present, and there is a nicely wrapped up happy ending for all. Best of all, this was far and away the most engaged I’ve seen an audience of small children. Dora and the rest of the cast had the children on their feet stamping, waving stars in the air, pushing and pulling with their arms, using their breath to blow Swiper’s boat off course and much more. This went a long way to capture the interactive nature of the show, which itself is surprisingly successful in transforming television watching from a passive to an interactive experience.
Watching the reaction of the children around me and my daughter in particular, it was clear that they were really enjoying themselves. The girl next to us came in full Dora costume and whooped enthusiastically throughout. My daughter’s favourite part was seeing Swiper foiled, and she asked if we could go and see it again. For adults, the pleasure is all in seeing a character close to your children’s heart brought to life successfully. The only complaint I would make was that it was extremely loud, and there were some unnecessary background noises that made it feel quite cacophonous and over-stimulating at points. I suspect, however, that this says more about my age (over five) than it does about the production, which I highly recommend.
Everyone's favourite explorer is embarking on a LIVE musical adventure in London's West End! In Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys, Dora has lost her teddy bear Osito, and the search is on to retrieve him! With the help of the audience, Map, Backpack, Boots, Diego and their courageous friends, Dora uses her map-reading, counting, musical and language skills to successfully pass through the number pyramid and the mixed-up jungle to reach the City of Lost Toys. But watch out - you never know what that sneaky fox Swiper might be up to along the way! Dora the Explorer fans will delight in this two act, song and dance spectacular that invites them to think, sing and play along.
Apollo TheatreShaftesbury Avenue
London Greater London United Kingdom W1D 7EZ
10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm