Preview: Pleasance Theatre Christmas season featuring Michael Rosen

Children are in for a treat this month when former children’s laureate Michael Rosen headlines during the Christmas season at The Pleasance Theatre.

The veteran performer, author, poet and broadcaster will perform his one-man show, entitled Bear Hunt and Chocolate Cake, which features stories, jokes, songs and poems.

Although he is a regular visitor in schools, he admits that performing on stage is special.

“I act out my books We’re going on a Bear Hunt and Chocolate Cake and it’s nice to do this in a theatre

“I do an enormous amount of acting at school but there’s something more enjoyable about it in a theatre.

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“The nice thing is that a theatre is an outing. There’s a sense of coming out to see a show. It’s a special thing.

“It’s also nice to get the parents involved.”

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The prolific writer has penned 140 books to date and has a new one coming out in February, called Fluff the Farting Fish.

“It’s about a child who hopes to get a pet dog but instead the girl’s mum gets her a fish”, he says.

“It has a wonderful skill and in the end, she appears on an X-factor style show with it.

“There’s a disaster.

“I should warn the readers there’s a public disaster in store for Fluff!”

When asked how he still manages to get into the minds of children at the age of 66, he says there are two main ways.

“One is to remember when I was a boy. Secondly, I have young children.

“There’s an element where I can revisit these things with my own children. That always helps.

“I watch to see what amuses them. Occasionally, I think ‘Oh dear’ and take it back to the drawing board.”

He said that a series of books by a German author are his own personal favourites, saying: ”I love Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. I loved that book as a child and still do.

“It was one of the first books to embrace the city for its lights and its energy.”

When not writing children’s books or poetry, he is an outspoken critic of the education secretary Michael Gove and has a column entitled Dear Mr Gove. He’s fiercely against Mr Gove’s plans to replace GCSEs with Ebaccs.

“I think it misses the point. What’s going to happen is that young people are going to stay in education until 19 and it’s going to stop them from developing their interests, as they have traditionally done between the age of 14 and 19.”

Bear Hunt and Chocolate Cake will run from December 18 to 23, at The Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, Holloway, N7. Tickets cost �9.

The show forms part of The Pleasance’s Christmas season which also includes Bringing Down The Moon (December 4 to Jan 2) a musical adaptation of Jonathan Emmett’s book about a mole who burrows out of the ground to see the moon for the first time; a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling (December 4 to January 15) and The Golden Cowpat, an interactive piece of storytelling about a farmer who discovers a mysterious golden cowpat in his field (December 26 to January 6)

Visit or call 020 7609 1800 for more information and tickets.

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