Hairy Maclary

Nonsense Room Productions are no strangers to the Edinburgh Festival, having first debuted Hairy Maclary all the way back in 2010. Returning once more, their experience was apparent with a solid, well-structured and energetic performance.

A lovely event for parents and children to enjoy together.

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy is a much loved character for children all over the world, which was evident amongst the children and parents in attendance. The buzz of excitement and anticipation in the audience was similar to that of teenagers attending a concert with their favourite band. These kids wanted to see Hairy Maclary and his friends and they wanted to see them now!

Storytelling and song are at the heart of this show and six of the Hairy Maclary stories are performed to us in one full hour. Along with Hairy Maclary we meet a number of other fully-costumed characters including Hercules Morse (as big as a horse), Muffin McClay (like a bundle of hay), Schnitzel von Krumm (with a very low tum) and of course Scarface Claw, the toughest tomcat in town. The children in the audience needed no introduction or prompts in reciting these names. The simple rhyming structure of these stories makes this show very accessible for young children especially and it was lovely to see children as young as three years old reciting some of the rhymes along with the cast.

The excellent teamwork amongst the cast helps them to deliver a strong show but the show is held together by the wonderful Miss Plum, who has excellent audience participation skills, making sure everyone joins in with the actions and songs. She helps everyone to create a thunderstorm to scare the show’s villain Scarface Claw and teaches us actions to the various songs to the delight of the younger audience. The storytelling is enhanced by missing pictures of characters that the children have to find in a “He’s behind you” pantomime-like manner.

This show can at times seem a bit dated and may find it hard to compete against the more contemporary children’s shows at the festival. However, it is still an infectious, vibrant and heart-warming show that I expect many families to attend throughout the festival. A lovely event for parents and children to enjoy together.

Reviews by Lynn Rusk

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The Blurb

'Out of the gate and off for a walk, went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.' Anyone with young children will recognise these immortal words, instantly, as the opening lines of the book Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Featuring many of the characters from the books, like Hercules Morse, as big as a Horse, Schnitzel von Krumm, with the very low tum and Scarface Claw, the toughest tomcat in town. With music, singing and several of your favourite Hairy Maclary stories, this interactive show is a must for the whole family.