Writer: Cressida Cowell &Neal Layton
Adaptor: Tall Stories
Music/Lyrics: Jon Fiber &Andy Shaw
Director: Olivia Jacobs
Reviewer: John Roberts
Tall Stories return to the Fringe with the latest of their picture book page to stage adaptations with Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton’s charming tale Emily Brown and the Thing.
Emily Brown is a little heavier than yesterday and about the same height as a new born Giraffe, but that doesn’t stop her and her Scouse rabbit Stanley having a thirst for adventure, insperable, they get up to all sorts of mischief together. Then one cold and wet night something disturbs Emily and Stanley from sleeping… It’s The Thing a friendly black and white monster who is a little bit lonely and scared, and with the help of the dynamic duo they set out to calm The Things nerves and help him go to sleep.
The message with all Tall Stories productions is simple, here it’s that everyone is scared about something and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, or anything you have to keep to yourself. The tale is told with the highest production values, the set provides plenty of surprises and the use of puppetry helps the story progress without the use of clunky scene changes.
Anna Wheatley as Emily brings bags of energy to the rôle and is instantly liked by the warm and engaged audience. Sam Donovan’s Stanley the rabbit with his slightly harsh Scouse accent takes a while to get into full swing, but he provides the bunny with plenty of attitude. Chris Gunter as The Thing finds a vocal delivery not far off of Zippy from theTV programme rainbow, but the kids delight in his silliness.
As with most children’s shows, the music is a little bland and forgettable but service the production well. Tall Stories have always produced engaging, energetic and appealing theatre and Emily Brown and the Thing carries of that tradition with aplomb.
Runs until 24th August