RED RIDING HOOD
Book & Lyrics by Jake Brunger.
Music & Lyrics by Pippa Cleary.
Pleasance Theatre, Main House,
Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF to 3 January 2016.
Mon – Fri 10.30am & 1.30 pm. Sat & Sun 11am & 2pm. 21-Dec to 3 Jan Mon-Sat 11 am & 2pm. No performances 14, 25, 26 Dec & 1 Jan.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7609 1800
Review: William Russell 10 December.
Into the woods for a wonderful time.
To hold an audience of primary school children enraptured is no mean feat, but this tuneful, colourful and delightfully performed tale of how Red Riding Hood got lost in the woods does just that. Pippa Cleary’s score is charming and in My Book of Important Things she has composed an outstandingly good song, followed closely by the one about baking.
In this version of the tale Red Riding Hood’s parents run a cake shop. One day her father goes in to the woods and never comes back, after which the shop falls on hard times. Red Riding Hood and her Mum do not bake as well as Daddy did so she goes off through the woods to visit Grandmother to seek advice as what they should do. She meets William The Woodcutter, a gauche lad with no memory who has to write everything down in his book – hence the song – and, of course, the Wolf who gets to Grandma first by sending her to stray off the path.
As for what happens next – well everyone knows but Grandmother does indeed get gobbled up in plain sight.
Nazerene Williams is a feisty Red Riding Hood, Matthew Jay-Ryan knows who to get the audience on his side as the amiable William, and Matthew Barrow is a suitably caddish Wolf. Patsy Blower as Grandmother and Holly-Anna Lloyd as Mother complete a first rate cast.
The pretty and inventive sets are by Simon Wells, there is a handsome blue parrot belonging to Grandmother, and the whole thing kept more than those tiny tots enraptured for an hour. Why should this be so? Well, the producer is Paul Taylor-Mills who knows a thing or two about shows like this.
Little Red: Nazarene Williams.
Mother: Holly-Anna Lloyd.
Grandma: Patsy Blower.
William the Woodcutter: Matthew Jay-Ryan.
Wolf/Father: Matthew Barrow.
Director: Kate Golledge.
Choreographer: Ashley Nottingham.
Musical Director: Charlie Ingles.
Designer: Simon Wells
Sound Designer: Chris Bogg.