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REVIEW - THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR SHOW | Z-ARTS MANCHESTER | 30/03/2024


there's a monster in your show artwork


All about Theatre five tar review

'There's A Monster In Your Show' is a new musical for young children which is recommended for children aged 3+. The show is based on the 'Who's in Your Book' book series by McFly member Tom Fletcher and the books have been adapted for the stage by Zoe Bourn with the show being directed by Miranda Larson. The show features original music by the author of the books Tom Fletcher as well as Barry Bignold and Miranda Larson. The show also features some beautiful puppets from puppet designer Keith Frederick.


there's a monster in your show production shot

My two children (aged 4 & 6) and I were invited to come and review the show at Z-arts in Manchester, once we had entered the auditorium and taken our seats a little preshow started as members of the cast came in to the audience to talk to the children. I loved this as it helped the children to relax and become comfortable with the characters before the show started.

The story behind the show is that there are four 'story-makers' who are getting ready to put on a show when they discover that monster is missing from his book. We then see monster popping up from behind some of the boxes and a shadow of him appears on a screen, this results in the kids in the audience getting all excited and shouting out 'he's behind you'. Once monster has been found they ask him to return to his book, but he does not want to as he wants to be part of the show, monster causes a bit of mischief and accidently makes the ballons for the finale of the show fly away. To get the ballons back monster enlists the help of some of his friends, Dragon, Alien and Unicorn. The ballons are eventually retrieved and the show is able to go on with the help of monster and his friends. Eventually it is time for monster and his friends to return to their books so that children can continue to enjoy their stories.


there's a monster in your show production shot

The set designed by Laura McEwen was simple but effective and consisted of a number of brightly coloured boxes of different shapes and sizes, these were stacked up to create an interesting and fun looking set which also included two screens which were used occasionally during the show to show some video animation.


  The musical numbers by Tom Fletcher, Barry Bignold and Miranda Larson were just fantastic, there are some great catchy numbers in the show which will definitely get stuck in your head. The songs also had some interactive elements with actions and words that the children could join in with, lots of the children were up on their feet and dancing to the catchy tunes.


there's a monster in your show production shot

The stars of the show have to be the beautiful puppets designed by Keith Frederick, they looked fantastic and were true to Greg Abbott's original illustrations of the characters. The puppets also had moving elements such as their eyes and mouths, at one point smoke even came out of the dragon's noise and the unicorns horn and hooves light up (this did not work properly at our performance, and they just flickered briefly). The puppets were operated by the talent cast, for our performance we had Ashton Owen puppeteering Monster and also playing Sam, Charlie Daniels was the puppeteer for both Dragon and Unicorn and she also played Alex, Josh Macrow was puppeteer for Alien and played Ben and Vinnie Monachello played Charlie. All the puppeteers did a great job of bringing the characters to life with their voice and physicality and each puppet had a unique personality. Not only did the cast have to operate the puppets but they also had their human rolls to play which they did brilliantly with such enthusiasm and energy as they sang and danced around the stage.


there's a monster in your show production shot

I thought this was a fantastic family show which kept the kids engaged throughout it's 50-minute runtime. It had some great audience participation which all the kids loved, and it cleverly incorporated some elements of the book into the show. It features some fantastic songs and has a wonderful message about teamwork and friendship. I rated this show five stars and it is one of the best kids shows we have seen.


If you would like more information about the show and find out where the show will be touring to click on the button below.




If you would like to find out more about Z-arts and the shows which will be coming to the venue, click on the button below.




Photo Credit - Pamela Raith


*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review














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