Theatre Review: The Bear at Waterside

Robot and I have just returned from seeing The Bear at Waterside, a beautiful little theatre in Sale, Manchester.

Based on Raymond Briggs’ book by the same name, Pins & Needles theatre company have created a captivating production which takes the audience on a wonderful journey of friendship.


Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on a polar bear’s lap? Or ride on its back? Have you ever tried to give a bear a bath? Or clear up its poo?! Looking after a bear is exhausting stuff.

One night when she’s fast asleep, an enormous snowy white bear climbs into Tilly’s bedroom. It has a big black tongue and a yawn as big as your head. But Tilly’s not scared.

Tilly and The Bear have a wonderful time as we giggle, shiver and even shed a little tear with them on their crazy adventure.

The Bear is a perfect way to introduce little ones to theatre, and really useful for older children to see some real, proper theatre with excellent props and the magic of a child’s imagination. As I watched with my seven year old, he noted the versatility of different props and how parts of the set were used to serve several purposes. It struck me that there was a lot to learn from a performance like this; a kind of ‘behind the scenes’ type treat which is entirely different to big theatre productions.

This a heartwarming, enchanting story and perfect for Christmas. Pins and Needles have done a wonderful job of adapting it for stage and capuring both our imaginations and our hearts. Raymond Briggs’ stories are very special indeed, and tonights performance really did The Bear justice.

Booking information

Thursday 7 December ‘17 – Saturday 6 January ‘18 (times vary) £16.50 / £14.50 / £12.50

Schools: £10 – 1 teacher free with every 9 students booked

Age recommendation: 3 – 11 years

To book visit


  1. Awww it was such a lovely.performance. It had me in bits for my own reasons, watching my boys as thry took in the performsnce was pure magic. It really was excellent. The Bear was so beautiful and powerful. Lovely to see you guts tonight x

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