Pretty in Pink

Thursday, 16 December, 2010

Three Little Pigs

The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG, 7 – 24 December, Box Office: 020 8692 4446. http://www.thealbany.org.uk

The story of Three Little Pigs has long been a firm favourite with little children and now Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company have brought it to life with the help of some engaging performers and three very charming puppets.

Through a mix of puppetry and acting, Tall Pig, Middle Pig and Tiny Pig are taken on a journey into compulsory independence after being kicked out by Mama Pig for treating their house “like a pig sty!”. They experiment with making houses from everything from straw and sticks, potatoes to goldfish (“No, that definitely won’t work!”) trying to avoid the silver tongued, Ray Ban wearing J. Arthur Wolfington Smythe, otherwise known as the Big Bad Wolf.

Dressed in homage to the 70’s, Laura Mugridge and Tom Frankland handle the puppets with skill, creating three playful characters whilst seamlessly weaving their way in front of and behind the set to guide us through the story. They don a fur coat to create the wolf, played with particular relish by Tom Frankland. Easily distracted from his hunt by a cookie, cabbage and a call from his agent, the wolf succeeds in huffing and puffing his way through the show until the traditional story is turned on its head when the pigs send him skywards attached to Tiny Pig’s kite.

There are loveable touches throughout, including a slapstick sequence with some straw, tiny pig and his digger, the brick house reveal (producing an audible gasp from both parents and children) and a glorious ending in which the big bad wolf finally gets his comeuppance. The set is a fantastic contraption – a cleverly designed 3D jigsaw that enables the various houses to be built (and destroyed) very realistically and shows off the puppetry at its best. The use of music also adds to the fun.

Aimed at 2 to 7 year olds, the young audience were entertained throughout and there were enough wry jokes to keep the grown ups happy. A few children were perhaps a little too young and therefore scared by some of the sound effects but, otherwise, the show has something for everyone.

Performers; Laura Mugridge and Tom Frankland

Director and puppetry – Marc Parrett; Designers – Marc Parrett and Tomasin Cuthbert; Producer – Niki McCretton; Sound design – Gwen Scott

(c) Sian Murray 2010

Reviewed Tuesday, 14 December 2010 / The Albany


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