Elmer The Patchwork Elephant show is based on the iconic children’s book series by David McKee. The story of Elmer The Patchwork Elephant has been a favourite of young people since the book was first published in 1989, and this classic tale has been adapted for the stage by Suzanne Maynard Miller, with songs by Allison Leyton-Brown.

Elephants, as everyone knows, are big, have trunks, and are grey. However, Elmer is a patchwork of brilliant colours! His fun-loving and cheerful personality keeps everyone’s mood happy, until the day Elmer gets tired of being different and tries to blend in with the herd.

Elmer’s quest for answers of who he really is lands him with meeting a menagerie of friends on his journey; Frogs, monkeys, a giraffe, Zebra’s, a lion and blue birds. With the Final celebration when Elmer comes to the realisation that his friends have always valued his unique characteristics and love him just the way he is.

The show’s subtle message that it is always best to be yourself, combined with the vibrant colour and cheeky humour of the main character, makes Elmer a great family show.

The staging for this production was magnificent and the 21 puppets that are included in the show are truly beautiful. Four very talented puppeteers and performers brought this production to life at the Lowry theatre. The show is almost mid-way through its UK tour and more dates and information can be found at www.elmertheshow.com 

The show is recommended for children 1+ and with such a young audience I think this production was a little too ambitious in thinking the pace and sung dialogue would hold the little one’s attention for 50 minutes. Today’s audience was very restless as the show did seem to lack the ability of holding the children’s attention. Maybe a recommendation of the audience age being slightly older: possibly 4 years and above would be more realistic.

There were many lovely songs in the show, but they did seem to lack catchiness and were very wordy for such a young audience to connect with. This said the show is still a beautiful production and is very imaginative in the story telling. My little companion aged six did sum it up my saying “it was lovely and colourful mummy mum just a bit too long”.

The show continues at the Lowry theatre Salford until the 21st February before it moves on with its UK tour, ending in Surrey 31st May 2019. https://thelowry.com/whats-on/elmer-the-patchwork-elephant/

Reviewer: Victoria Wilmot Victoria

Reviewed: 19th February 2019

North West End Rating: ★★★★