The Wheels on the Bus at the Oxford Playhouse is simply one person, a talented singer and storyteller called Poppy, a trunk and a large cardboard bus. Poppy leads us through a series of well-known songs, rather tenuously strung together by the contents of the trunk.
I feel this show is not well-suited to a large auditorium like that of the Playhouse. In a small venue the single actor would be fine, but the large stage requires more to engage interest. It was a disappointment to me, for instance, that the bus did not move, although it honked at appropriate times, and no-one else appeared to give more variety to the performance, talented as Poppy is. I think I would have concentrated on just singalong songs: anyone who can sing The Court of King Caractacus without hesitation deserves to be admired, but I think it was above most of the children there and it was not one parents are likely to sing along to. I am also not sure what age group the show is aimed at. Poppy told two stories - the second one being the story of the tin soldier who dies in flames with the ballerina. Of all the stories that could have been chosen, I would not have chosen this story for a group of 2+ (the age given on the website).
My 3 ½ year-old grandson was quiet during the performance and most of the way home, but then he started reliving his favourite parts so he certainly got something out of it. In a smaller venue, and perhaps with a couple of changes to the repertoire, it would have been much better.