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Michael Rosen's Chocolate Cake review – half-baked sweet treat


Polka, London
Rosen’s epic is dished up for the stage in an adaptation that stirs in his poems about fried eggs and baked potatoes

All kids loves cake but Wilfred, aged four, is mad for it. With a rather serious expression on his face, he tells me that cake is his friend. So he is the ideal person to take to this musical adaptation of Michael Rosen’s classic poem and some scenes in this production – basically, all the ones involving a huge gleaming cake – delight Wilfred. At one point he even drools. But this is a sweet treat and little more: glossy, tempting but ultimately pretty unsatisfying.

Sometimes a purely silly piece of theatre can turn out to be really good fun, but it’s hard not to expect more from a show inspired by Rosen’s writing. Rosen shows children every shade of life – dark and gloomy or bright and dazzling. But this lighthearted and lightweight adaptation – co-created by experienced hands Peter Glanville and Barb Jungr– asks too little of its audience.

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