Zog and the Flying Doctors at Northern Stage | A Review

Ad - Our writer Gaia received press tickets to this performance. If you'd like to book Gaia to review an upcoming show, you can email Gaia@NorthEastFamilyFun.co.uk. Photo credits: Mark Senior

Having never taken Ada (aged 4) to a theatre performance before I wasn’t sure how she would react to Zog & The Flying Doctors at Northern Stage. She loves the book though so I was hopeful that it would go down well. We headed to Northern Stage in Newcastle on a rainy Friday to check out the show by Freckle Productions.  Zog is one of the best-loved characters of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler who together have sold over 75 million picture books worldwide. First published in 2016, Zog and the Flying Doctors is the smash-hit sequel to Zog. The stage adaptation is best suited to ages 3+ but all are welcome. The approximate running time is one hour with no interval. Limited tickets are availble for this weekend here:

Getting to Northern Stage


We parked at Claremont road car park, which is 8 minutes walk to Northern Stage. I would highly recommend using public transport if you can as it’s very close to Haymarket, but we were short on time and live quite far away so chose to drive. Luckily we nabbed one of the last spaces and at £3 for 2 hours it’s one of the more reasonable car parks in Newcastle.

We easily found Northern Stage using Google maps, it’s in the courtyard of Newcastle University and there are clear signs dotted about the campus.


Facilities at Northern Stage


There’s a lovely cafĂ© serving Ouseburn Coffee Co and some very tasty looking cakes and pastries. Next time we’ll sample them as we didn’t get a chance today.

It’s a lovely little modern theatre and arriving 20 minutes before showtime gave us plenty of time to collect tickets from the box office and nip to the loo. A word of warning though – make sure you head to the toilet before the show as it’s a couple of floors below the theatre (Stage 1). We took the stairs down but the lift back up which was much quicker and brought us straight back into the theatre meaning we didn’t have to queue again. We brought our own snacks (as did others) so not sure how reasonably priced the food on offer is.


The theatre itself was nice and warm on a cold, rainy day in Newcastle and the seats were very comfortable.


Zog & The Flying Doctors


We took our allocated seats amongst the excited pre-schoolers at the 2.30pm showing and waiting for the show to start. The set looked straight out of the book and the music playing was similar to the film so we knew we were off to a good start.


First on stage was a little model of Zog and the flying doctors soaring through the sky, and then Zog himself appeared. Ada was immediately convinced it was the real Zog! Seeing her face light up when she saw him was honestly one of those moments I’ll never forget, just magical.


We were treated to an hour of fantastic songs and audience participation, with a hilarious villain - the King, and plenty of animals that Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout helped along the way.


You don’t have to have read the book to enjoy this show but I’m sure most children who attend have had the book read to them a few (million!) times. There were plenty of children dressed as Zog in the audience and you could buy little Zog cuddly toys in the foyer (but at £20 each we didn’t!)


Highlights – Zog & the Flying Doctors


We loved the sunburnt mermaid and the song she sings, she was a brilliant actor who played a few parts (as did most of the others). They really brought Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's magical story to life.

Princess Pearl was fab too, she sings a song about being stuck in the castle with a few references to the likes of Deliveroo and Etsy thrown in for the grown ups in the audience.


Zog was a Geordie, which worked very well with this audience! He was just the right mix of a bit unsure and shy at times which is I think why Ada believed he was the real Zog from the books.


The King gave us all some laughs and was a bit of a pantomime villain. With a show aimed at the under 8s it's crucial that there’s some shouting and silliness and he definitely delivered this.


Zog & the Flying Doctors Verdict


Ada said she wanted to see Zog & the Flying Doctors “every day” and that “her wish came true” so I’d call that a success! Ten minutes before the end she got a bit tired and wanted to leave but quickly changed her mind when I told her it was nearly finished. The three year old next to us was getting a little fidgety by this point too so I’d say any more than an hour would be too long for this audience. It was a brilliant show in a lovely theatre and we will never forget it as it had extra meaning for us. 


They have another favourite of ours ‘Oi Frog & Friends’ coming in April (https://www.northernstage.co.uk/Event/oi-frog-friends) which we will definitely be booking up for!


No comments

Post a Comment

© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig