A Little Bit Lately: The Bear at the Waterside, Sale

One thing that I underestimated before my little boy blue arrived, was how much I was going to miss spending time with my girl. Just me and her.

Our youngest is now eight weeks old and for a few weeks there it was seriously tough. Getting into the swing of night feeds and having another dependant whilst trying to not leave Little Miss out was hard going. Mr Vista had surgery and was laid up for a few weeks and then we were all struck down with a nasty cold.

We needed something to make us smile and some quality girl time. Something Christmassy… So, straight up the M62 we went to Sale, Manchester to see an old friend.

A Little Bit Lately: The Bear at the Waterside, Sale

The Bear at the Waterside, Sale

Father Christmas, by Raymond Briggs, is and has always been a Christmas tradition in my family. Every Christmas it is one of the first things I check to see when it’s on when the December TV Times arrives. Little Miss Vista’s first Christmas was the year that the Snowman and the Snow Dog, also based on a book by Raymond Briggs, graced our screens and so we’ve found we’ve got a bit of sentimentality towards it.

When we saw that The Bear was showing at a theatre near us I had to get tickets. Luckily we were invited to come along to the press night.


We’ve read The Bear to Little Miss before but she hasn’t ever taken the book in as much as she has the 90s TV adaptation. You  remember the one…

And so, we went along last Thursday to the Waterside to watch an adaptation of The Bear by Pins and Needles Productions. 

“With dazzling puppetry, delicious music, dreamy storytelling, and dozens of laughs, The Bear captivated its packed house of theatre critics, bloggers and reviewers – both big and small – to create an unforgettable night for all the family.

This heart-warming and humorous wintry tale – brought to the stage by acclaimed Pins and Needles Productions – starred Leigh Quinn as Tilly with puppeteers Lori Hopkins who also played Mum and Maxwell Tyler who also played Dad.”

The Show

This adaptation is recommended for children aged between 3 – 11. This seemed about right as Little Miss was happy to sit and watch (albeit from the safety of my knee), but this time last year I’m pretty sure the puppet may have been an issue.

Watching the preview beforehand I really wasn’t sure how the bear puppet was going to work… I was even less sure if we would be able to stay and watch the show to find out as Little Miss HATES anything dressed up.

I needn’t have worried as the puppet was amazing and it worked completely as a separate body and feet. Although Little Miss hid a little when the bear first appeared she warmed to him.

I personally thought that everything about the production was a little bit magical. The way the set worked, the costumes and props and even the performances – you need to see it to believe it but the way the actors worked with the bear was incredible. The timing, the music, the proxemics – all of it impressed me.

The Pins and Needles production of The Bear possessed humour that catered for both my four year old and myself… some of it poo related. But you’ll have to watch to find out why.

The Venue

The show runs for around 55 minutes without an interval, and parking is just around the corner in the form of the Q Park on Broad Road, at which Waterside ticket holders can claim a 20% discount. 

With parking, the show and maybe a bite to eat and drinks it is a night out short enough to indulge your tiny humans whilst still having time to get home in time for bedtime.

The Waterside is one of the smallest venues I’ve ever watched a theatre production at. The atmosphere was snug, warm and friendly and I would’t hesitate to go back.

Book Your Tickets

Tickets are available to buy online now from just £12.50 per person until 6th January.  Whilst you’re at it why not book a Slumber Pack for the kids at £2 each? It contains milk and a cookie to enjoy whilst the kiddies are whisked off to this magic imaginary tale with Tilly.

This was exactly what we needed. Something different and exciting to sit and take in, that didn’t last too long. And parts of this show were simply magical. Without giving too much away… expect to be transported!

A Little Bit Lately: The Bear at the Waterside, Sale

Have you been to see The Bear yet?

Thanks for reading: A Little Bit Lately: The Bear at the Waterside, Sale


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