Winnie the Pooh at Wales Millennium Centre – review

Cardiff theatre
Winnie The Pooh Wales Millennium Centre

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Thanks to Wales Millennium Centre for providing us with review tickets for Winnie the Pooh

The much-loved star of AA Milne’s books and Disney animations, Winnie the Pooh gets his own stage show, currently in Cardiff for three days as part of its UK tour.

It’s a sweet and endearing production which really brings the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood to life, and at 65 minutes long, it’s a great introduction to theatre for younger children. There are lots of excited little ones in attendance at today’s 5pm performance, many of them clutching plush Winnie the Pooh toys that are almost as big as them. And with parents and grandparents excitedly pointing out the action on the stage, this is certainly a show with multi-generational appeal.

Winnie The Pooh Musical

I took my 9 year old who is a little older than the show’s target demographic (it’s perfect for 3 to 7 year olds) but he still found plenty to enjoy, from the brilliant puppetry to comedy moments such as our favourite bear getting stuck headfirst in a tree in the search for his beloved ‘hunny’.

The famous characters including Pooh, Kanga, Roo, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit and of course the energetic Tigger are brought to life as large cuddly puppets, operated by a team of performers who not only perfect the familiar voices from the animations but also embody the mannerisms of the characters too. It’s fascinating to watch all their facial expressions and movements, although that said it’s very easy to forget the puppeteers are there at all and to lose yourself in the characters themselves. 

Winnie The Pooh Musical

The stage is beautifully constructed with so much attention to detail. From the Pooh stick bridge and the mis-spellings on the vegetable patch, to the tree that Pooh finds himself stuck in and the vivid colourful lighting and backgrounds, it’s all so creative and delightful to look at and every bit what you would hope from a stage show about Winnie the Pooh.

The storyline is easy enough for children to follow as Pooh and his friends go on an adventure through the seasons while Christopher Robin is at school. Classic and familiar musical numbers including The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers and Winnie the Pooh’s theme song make an appearance alongside other new musical numbers which keep the plotline moving.

If I’m being picky, I would have liked to have seen a little more audience engagement – getting the kids to sing or dance along on occasion would have helped in the moments where the little ones were getting restless. But overall, this is a charming and delightful show that brings to life an absolute favourite. You just have to look at the faces of the little children in the audience as the magic unfolds onstage to know it gets a massive thumbs up from them.

Winnie The Pooh Musical

Winnie the Pooh is at Wales Millennium Centre on Friday 4 August at 11am and 2pm and Saturday 5 August at 11am, 2pm and 5pm. Tickets are still available, from £12. 

For more information, including how to book, visit the website here

Babes in arms tickets are available for under 2s with an accompanying adult, priced £2. See website for details. 

See my blog post for more ideas of family-friendly events and activities in and around Cardiff this summer holidays.

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