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Heidi - A Goat's Tale (Bath)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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The Christmas offering from The Egg this is year is a surreal reworking of the tale of Heidi; the orphaned girl sent to stay with her grandfather in the mountains where she meets Peter. Her Aunt reappears to take Heidi to Frankfurt to befriend Clara and receive an education. Heidi cannot be happy in the city and so returns home, Clara then comes to visit where in a fit of jealously Peter breaks her wheelchair and the benefits of mountain living is then realised as Clara walks for the first time and the ending is indeed a happy one.

This adaptation written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Lee Lyford is framed by a wonderful animal barn designed by Hayley Grindle and it is this ingenious design with some atmospheric lighting from Katharine Williams lifts this tale out of the ordinary and into a visual delight.

The company work hard, four of them as goats, narrating the tale by eating pieces of the novel or by role playing the various characters as needed in their colourful goat language alongside Heidi, a innocent and convincing young girl played by Caroline Horton. The tale moves swiftly with the most musical Rooster in the form of Seamas H. Carey, the company also join in the music making and the representation of Clara as a puppet is engaging.

There are moments that work particularly well and the snow fall at the end is an image that will stay with many of the younger members of the audience; there is much happiness and fun within the show which provides an alternative to the more obvious Christmas productions in the region.


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