Charlotte Conquest’s production attempts to appeal to both adults and children alike, and while managing this for the most part, some sequences clearly left children around me scared (production isn’t really suitable for children under the age of 7). Conquest generally manages the stage well, along with Aidan Treays’s excellent movement work.
Jack Merivale’s music is divine, perfectly placed to capture every mood and nuance of the piece, perfectly complimenting Lucy Wilkinson’s design – her many puppets for the production work perfectly, adding another layer of depth to the piece.
The cast are all strong, in particular Richard Kidd shines as Pierluigi Ambrosi and Baldozi, creating a strong bond with the children in the audience and providing some excellent one man segments (as well as having a sublime singing voice). Nicholas Osmond encapsulates Mother Gothel with great physical effect, as does Rachel Donovan bring warmth to Prezzemolina and Rob Cavazos charismatic Paulo – the underwritten roles in many ways.
However, the one fundamental issue I have with this piece is how it does not strike out to any one audience group, Creation has attempted to speak to all possible groups, and unfortunately – while each element on their own is good – together it becomes a mish-mash of thoughts which lacks a coherent vision.
However, if you want to get away from pantomime for family outings, this is a glorious evening out with some memorable tunes and excellent performances.
- Daniel Whitley