Aliens Love Underpants
The Spiegeltent, Underbelly Festival Southbank
Reviewed – 23rd August 2018
“The original songs are superb, both lyrically and musically, and the dancing is very entertaining”
Based on the book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort and adapted for the stage and directed by Adam Bampton-Smith, Aliens Love Underpants is a tale of underwear, aliens and unlikely friendships. There is a crisis going on: everywhere across the world underpants are going missing. We know it isn’t dinosaurs and we know it isn’t Pant Pirates, so who could it be? Aliens, obviously.
The story focuses around Timmy (Matthew Chase), a young boy who is fascinated by space and has completely run out of pants. His mum (Natalie Simone) manages to get hold of a very special pair for him and it is these pants which set Timmy off on his intergalactic journey. We meet a number of other characters including an American reporter (Samuel Freeman), the eccentric owner of Pants R Us (Kate McKeown), Timmy’s beloved science teacher Mr Stevens (Adam Colbeck-Dunn), as well as some fantastic alien puppets. The cast is incredibly talented; they can sing, dance, act and are also excellent puppeteers.
The story is simple, sweet and silly, as you would expect, and you can tell that many of the children in the audience are already familiar with the book. There’s something for the grownups too, with a few adult references and wordplay thrown in there to keep the parents entertained.
The original songs are superb, both lyrically and musically, and the dancing is very entertaining. The music is definitely a hit with the kids as well as there are lots of little heads bobbing along.
The lighting and sound in general are great and really help to keep the kids engaged and following along with the story. I was impressed by how quiet and mesmerised they all were. The props, set and puppets, all designed by Isla Shaw, are whimsical, cartoonish and almost identical to the drawings in the book.
Overall, Aliens Love Underpants is a truly lovely show. It’s inventive, fun and pitch-perfect for children and parents alike, whether they’re fans of the book or not.
Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com
Aliens Love Underpants
Underbelly Festival, Southbank until 30th September