‘The theatre is still closed for winter,’ a park keeper decrees to the audience of young children and adults, sitting on the grass by the stage as he tidies up the empty flower beds.

Plus, he insists, the resident animals are a nuisance; they always steal his packed lunches.

Based on the hugely popular series of books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, Bear Snores On is directed and adapted by Cush Jumbo and Katy Sechiari and takes its audience on a magical immersive journey into the heartland of Bear’s lair.

Hackney Gazette: Hare and Mouse in Bear Snores On at Regent's Park Open Air TheatreHare and Mouse in Bear Snores On at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (Image: Marc Brenner)

Rebecca Brower's playful set and costume design hooks you in right from the start. The cast portraying a cavalry of mischievous creatures are irresistibly cute in large knitted ears and cosy flannel onesies.

After some enthusiastic ‘they’re behind you’ audience interaction with the flummoxed park keeper, a change in weather, ingeniously conjured through a leaf blower creating snow flurries, signals it’s time to move on.

Following Mouse’s [Lauren Conroy] torchlit tail, the audience weave through a leafy tunnel into a mocked-up cave which resembles a glamping tipi.

Hackney Gazette: Bear Snores On runs until April 21Bear Snores On runs until April 21 (Image: Marc Brenner)

There, Mouse sets about making a fire and snuggling into a pile of cushions only to realise – shock, horror - a bear is slumbering behind them.

But they’re not alone for long. The artic exploring Hare [Ashh Blackwood, wickedly funny in plummy mode] pops up through a trap door, followed by an ardent Essex Badger [Annabel Marlow], unrequitedly devoted to Hare and ever-eager to sing a Ballad, as well as a raving Raven [Albert Graver].

With enough ingredients to make a vegetable stew, the party is on. Music and lyrics by Harry Blake are punchy; Spice it Up with its mix of jungle and rave beats was a particular hit, and all audience members are lent a neon wristband to rave along with.

‘I know there’s a difference between me and you, but life is too short to eat a bland stew.’ Wise words.

Once the spices are liberally thrown into the pot, Bear [Ashley D Gayle] sneezes and wakes. It’s certainly a large puppet costume; one child cried while a baby looked thrilled. Overall, children were delighted as Bear took to the dancefloor, his lonely existence finally over.

Bear Snores On runs at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre until April 21.