Many Left Lion readers will fondly remember growing up with Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Show. Now there’s a chance for a new generation of children to join in the fun. Yes, bubbly Michaela off the telly has written a book of fun and factual animal poems. And there’s a tour to accompany the book, naturally. Michaela’s one-woman show dropped by the Playhouse for a performance on a freezing Nottingham afternoon.
The event is very much for the under-eights, although the over-eights in the auditorium were clearly enjoying themselves too. The lights come up on simple African bush camp with Michaela’s unmistakeable profile silhouetted by gas lamp. Soon she’s out of the tent and interacting with the audience. Never one to pass on a challenge Michaela has to find an animal for every letter of the alphabet. So begins an hour of rhymes, guessing games and skits, with heaps of audience participation and Michaela’s indomitable smile.
Indeed, Michaela’s ever-youthful, forever-jolly persona holds it all together like an enthusiastic new teacher on the first day of term. Even the abortive curtain rise, when things had to stop while the sound system was fixed, did little to dampen her spirits.
With a scattering of props, plenty of music and the odd trick, Michaela wove her spell. The spitting cobra routine was probably the biggest laugh. You may wish to bring an umbrella! Wiggling penguins, polar bear dentistry and even a puffin were all worked into the routine. Now and again kids would be whisked on stage to help with the dressing up and animal noises, not to mention a few blushing parents.
Michaela supports several important animal conservation projects and is clearly on a mission to educate today’s youth. Did you know how many people sharks kill every year? You might be surprised. So why not buy the book and support the tour. For the very young it’s an hour of solid fun.
Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures played at the Nottingham Playhouse
on Friday 22 February 2013.