IN A PICKLE
by Tim Webb
4 Stars ****
The Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, Finchley, London N12 0GA to 31 December 2016.
Then on tour – Clwyd Theatre, Mold 11-21 Jan; Stratford Circus 27-28 Jan; Warwick Arts Centre 1-5 February; Gulbenkian, Canterbury 8-12 February; Brooklyn Academy of Music 18-30 April; Lincoln Centre, New York 3-14 May; Denver Centre for the Performing Arts 19-26 May.
Mon-Sat 10.30am and 1.15pm
Runs 50 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 020 8369 5454
Review William Russell 15 December
A theatrical delight for three to five year olds
Gorgeously staged and gowned this delightful tale for small people is, would you believe it, based on The Winter’s Tale? Well, at a small remove or two. Even grown ups get a little bit stretched watching that Shakespeare play.
This is theatre in which the children participate, welcomed by the most splendid sheep who guide them and their supervising parent – once they have all been given sheep’s ears to wear – to seats at a couple of long dining tables so that they can watch the goings on. There are songs, the sheep do what sheep do, which is fall over, make funny noises and behave with hilarious silliness. There is a terrific moment when they are shorn and the baggy pants drop and svelte beings appear. Bubbles get blown in the air, carrots are fed by and to the sheep, a baby is lost and found, and all sorts of magical things happen as everyone goes on a journey.
It has been expertly tailored to the attention span of its audience and the audience I saw it with was enthralled. Nobody left for the loo mid performance. The sheep are a hoot, and when the royal persons arrive to claim the lost baby they are most magnificent, statuesque beings in the Oberon and Titania mould, although they do come from a different play. Everyone gets swept up into the tale and it could just be the start for the audiences who attend of a lifetime devotion to live theatre.
Sheep: Griff Fender, Katherine Vernez, Stephanie Rutherford.
Musician: Sheema Muldherjee/
Director: Patrick Lynch.
Designer: Claire de Loon.
Composer: Max Reinhardt & Finn Peters.
Choreographer: Debbie Bandara.
Lighting Design: Jack Knowles.