• LazyTown Live! in the UK 2007

    LazyTown Live! in the UK 2007

    An Icelandic export created by Magnus Scheving, children’s TV series LazyTown has become hugely popular in the UK during the last year or so. The characters of above average super hero Sportacus and his ever so pink singing and dancing friend Stephanie have cleverly captured the imaginations of both boys and girls, hence the oodles of costumed mini-versions present at the Apollo.

    As we are reminded in this excellent stage adaptation, it is also Sportacus and Stephanie that begin to take the ‘lazy’ out of LazyTown, encouraging children to eat ‘sports candy’ (fruit and vegetables) and kick about a real football rather than just sit indoors playing it on computer. Couch potato Robbie Rotten (played to perfection by Scott Joseph) is the villain of the piece, in this case ordering a robotic super hero to oust Sportacus and undermine any plans for a healthier lifestyle.

    The colourful world of LazyTown is not easy to reproduce, but right from the start when the audience is made to feel, via a large screen, that they are taking a flight there, the signs are good. Director Richard Lewis and the whole creative team have considered every detail from set and costume down to the tiniest sound effect when a page is turned in the LazyTown rule book. Familiar, catchy music from the series plus big injections of audience interaction also add to the crowd’s constant enjoyment.

    Casting the town’s children must have been a challenge, since most of them are played by puppets in the TV show. However, on the whole the performer versions match up well, even if some of them take a little time to get used to. There are also no disappointments with the two leads - Kimberley Pena’s energetic Stephanie sounds and dances like the original and Julian Essex-Spurrier has all the right moves as hero of the hour Sportacus.

    Production information

    Hammersmith Apollo, London, October 22-23, then touring until August 7, 2008

    Authors: Magnus Scheving
    Director: Richard Lewis
    Producers: Edward Snape for Fiery Angel, Martin Ronan for MCM Limelight
    Cast includes: James Bellamy, Julian Essex-Spurrier, Kimberley Pena, Nathan Guy, Scott Joseph, Tina Waller, Kae Yukawa, Darren Partridge, Mark Roper
    Running time: 1hr 30mins

    Published Friday 26 October 2007 at 12:15 by Lisa Martland
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