United Kingdom’s leading Theatre for younger audiences is now showing the adaptation of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s children’s book The Wolf, The Duck and The Mouse which director Jack McNamara has adapted for the stage.
The stage is predominantly dressed by small rows of silver birch trees and begins as two trees are having a conversation about what has been going on lately in the woods as the two friends catch up.
Partly narrated by the silver birches situated in a half-moon design around the stage they begin telling the audience the story of the hungry wolf and what happens after the day that she ate a mouse.
Wolf (Catherine Whitefield) due to unforeseen circumstances was seated during this performance and although she was active on the stage this did not lose anything within the storyline. Her impersonations of other woodland animals were very good especially the aloof Badger.
Mouse played by Varan Raj ends up lost and confused when he finds himself in the stomach if the wolf. Encountering a new acquaintance his outlook on life will never be the same again.
Sam Buttery in the role if the of the eccentric Gressingham Duck was superb. There was an air of pompous snobbery from the duck as he introduced himself to mouse. His delivery of the part was both humorous and entertaining. The children in the audience engaged with him by clapping along with his dances.
The fifty-minute production is long enough to keep the younger audiences attention span yet there is enough content in this play for adults too feel it’s a much longer show.
Movement director Kitty Winter created some extremely entertaining dancing and singing duets between Mouse and Duck. Buttery dancing in diving flippers was certainly impressive as they looked to be a real trip hazard.
The children’s story is light-hearted overall and the younger audience engaged throughout the performance and joined in at various stages without needing much prompting. There is a social commentary taking place within the tale with a few references to hunting defenceless animals for sport although this would have probably have been lost on the age group that the production is aimed at.
I would definitely recommend this absolutely delightful production for all families with children up to around the age of seven. A wonderful introduction to the wonders of the world of theatre.
For more information and ticket sales please use the link below.