CALL me Mr Grumpy, but the Mr Men Party Road Show at the Brewhouse on Saturday was a Little Mis-tifying to say the least.

With shows like this, it’s about how well they jump from page or screen to stage.

Following fabulous adaptations at the Brewhouse like the Elves and Shoemaker, Charlie and Lola and Boogie Beebies, this one flopped with a (Mr) bump.

It got off to a bad start – at curtain-up, instead of Mr Men, we saw six dancers (five women, one man) enthusiastically and capably bursting into a medley of disco songs which left you wondering if you’d come to the right show.

Medley over, on comes Mr Happy and things start to look up, especially with a stand-up-and-join-in rendition of Happy and You Know It.

After that the show descended into a bizarre kind of karaoke, with the singer-dancers belting out cheesy disco classics, accompanied by, variously, Mr Happy, Little Miss Naughty and Mr Bump. But the voices of the characters were muffled by the enormous, colourful costume they were wearing and their ‘dancing’ was heavily restricted by the enormous, colourful … you get the picture.

After the interval we were introduced to the star of the show, Little Miss Princess and cue more of the same.

Conscious that I’m not the target market for this show, I looked around at the little faces in the audience and saw some enthusiasm but, more often than not, a thumb-sucking impassivity with youngsters curled up in their seats as if watching a mildly interesting TV programme.

The main problem was the choice of songs – they ranged from things like Abba’s Dancing Queen and Kylie’s The Locomotion to Grease Lightning and Hey Baby.

Hands up the five-year-olds who know the words to those? Anyone? Thought not.

Wheels on the Bus would have been much better.

The numbers included some song or other made popular by the TV show Glee, which is, is it not, mainly watched by teenagers and wannabe teenagers? Was the hyphen a typo when they said the Mr Men show was suitable for 3-5 year-olds?

The format meant there was no storyline, which left many of the youngsters watching without much of a reason to watch.

‘Can I go and touch her?’, said my soon-to-be-three-year-old when she saw Little Miss Princess. ‘I expect you’ll be able to at the end of the show, yes’, I mistakenly answered…

The action and the excitement levels did pep up a bit towards the grand finale when all four characters were on stage, and the afore-mentioned young one certainly didn’t have a bad time. My one-year-old was mesmerised the whole way through.

Near the end the performers told us it was 40 years ago that Roger Hargreaves created the first Mr Man character (Mr Tickle) and that a Mr Man book is sold somewhere in the world every two-and-a-half seconds. It’s therefore baffling why such a successful, global brand has given its name to this substandard show.

“It was £44 for a family ticket,” I heard someone grumble afterwards …

I have to admit we’re not a Mr Men family - it’s somehow passed us by - and maybe we didn’t read the brochure very closely either so went with a wonky set of expectations.

Conducting a mini survey outside the theatre afterwards, some were happy, but most wished they’d given it a little miss.

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