We're Going On A Bear Hunt

You can always feel a particular kind of excitement in an auditorium, before “curtain up”, when a significant proportion of the audience are (a) less than five years old, and (b) waiting for quite possibly one of their favourite books to be recreated on stage. It’s an audience buzz that’s surely a gift for any cast, so it’s a slight disappointment that this touring production of Michael Rosen’s much-loved tale of exploration doesn’t quite seem to be able to make the most of it, even while relying on the kind of audience participation—Q&As, a lot of “It’s Behind you!” screaming, and some very big water pistols—not normally seen outside of the panto season.

The sets and elements are bright and colourful; the songs and music lively and remarkably diverse in their cultural influences

We’re going on a bear hunt.

We’re going to catch a big one.

What a beautiful day!

We’re not scared.

Admittedly, there’s plenty to enjoy. The sets and elements are bright and colourful; the songs and music lively and remarkably diverse in their cultural influences; and the successive barriers encountered in the family’s bear hunt—long grass, a stream, squelchy mud, a forest, a snowstorm, a cave—are recreated in ways that even the young audience can obviously relate to. The cast (who emerge from the back of the audience, supposedly looking for wildlife) are bright and friendly, especially Michael Jean-Marain as a particularly gangly, physically awkward Son, although the biggest audience sympathies are arguably given to musician Louis Gulliver King, who doubles as the family’s Dog, and a puppet baby shared among the cast. “Dad” Joseph Carey, while well-meaning, doesn’t quite seem “big” enough on stage to hold some of the audience’s attention, although Rebecca Newman comes across well as the Daughter who is sometimes determined to catch her father’s attention.

We can’t go over it.

We can’t go under it.

Oh no!

We’ve got to go through it!

The script is careful enough not to add too much to the original narrative, although there’s a certain delight in concepts such as migrating moles. Quite rightly, the verbal repetitions at the heart of the original story are retained, forming reassuring links in an easily understood chain that is speedily reversed at the climax. The big reveal, while hardly surprising (given the title of the show) nevertheless has some real impact, although it can’t be said to be quite as scary as the characters’ own actions actually suggest. Thankfully, this definitely isn’t the kind of exit, pursued by bear, that William Shakespeare had in mind!

Yes, this show could possibly be a bit broader and bolder, but there’s plenty of fun to be had here none the less.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Direct from a smash-hit West End and international tour, Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is brought vividly and noisily to the stage in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score.

Join our intrepid adventurers on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure!

Adapted for the stage from the modern classic written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets