Review: Tree Fu Tom @ St. David's Hall
Saint David's Hall, Cardiff
Wednesday 26th August 2015
"Tree Fu Tom join the fun, come along now everyone. Move with Tom, he needs you to save the day and do Tree Fu"
Let's take you to a magical place where everyday a little boy who is eight-years-old turns himself into a tiny self who can fly (much like The Spiderwick Chronicles).
Tom must go to Treetopolis and help save the day with all his magical friends such at Twigs, Ariela, Zigzoo and Squirmtum - an acorn, butterfly, frog and woodlouse. You even had the bad guys Puffy and Stink who are Mushes as they call themselves.
On most mornings you will find Tree Fu Tom on either before or after Peter Rabbit. Now my little girl loved watching it, and even I did I'll admit, because it turned out David Tennant was the voice of Twigs (yes to my shame I figured it out), but now she is much older she also joins in with the Tree Fu actions between jumping, waving arms and pointing - it's all great fun and most of the time I know it's coming on the telly not because of the theme music but because Tan'ith is jumping around hysterically shouting "Hello Tom!"
Saint David's Hall was absolutely packed with lots of young children running around and all the prams by the front door. You had little boys dressed up like Tom and the odd girl trying to look like Ariela or just one of the Frozen princesses, they had a plushy Tom for sale and a light up sabre that flashed and changed colours and also a Tree Fu Tom backpack for sale. For once though after we had grabbed out tickets and got our program we headed straight in. It wasn't long before the hall filled up and after taking a few quick pictures it went all dark and on to the stage jumped Tom played by Byron Witchell waving and saying "Hello boys and girls!"
At this point the theme music was running and you heard a very loud hello back from all the kids and even a few parents to boot. Tan'ith was the only one who decided to randomly shout Tom when it was quiet and even dance when the Mushes came on (much to my shame).
Depending on what is going on in the episode generally Tom or one of his friends gets into trouble. Whether that's because a magical spell has gone wrong, the Mushes are being naughty or just Twigs trying to show off, Tom always uses Tree Fu with help from you at home to save the day using magic, which, much like yoga, gets you up and moving about to help power his belt up. In one episode though he did nearly use magic to cheat and I was quite impressed that they explained that using magic would be cheating, so it shows not only it's about learning but also telling the truth - there is a lot to be learnt with Tom for little children.
In the live show Twigs had a map to hidden treasure and so the show was about Tom and his friends following the map. The Mushes were trying to steal the map and get the treasure first, which Squirmtum, who is scared of his own shadow, had to chase down the Mushes as they stole his grabber. In amongst all the fun of chasing and following you had singing and dancing, and of course were asked to stand up and join in doing Tree Fu plus Twigs told a joke that he thought was very funny but it didn't get too many laughs from the audience.
I was very impressed by how lively they all the characters were and their brilliant costumes. The only let down in some ways was Zigzoo the inventor frog, who was just a puppet, but saying that it was better than trying to make a costume for someone of his size
So, all in all, it was a great day out and although this seems to be more of a boys' thing, I think any child can enjoy it whatever your age. There is something in the show for everyone even a little adult humour.
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