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Swamp Juice – Spark Children’s Arts Festival, Curve, Leicester

Devised and performed by: Jeff Achtem Music: David Henry, Nick Carver, Tristan Kelley Reviewer: Farhana Shaikh [rating:5] Performed as part of The Spark Festival’s 10th birthday, Swamp Juice is a shadow puppet menagerie devised by Montreal puppeteer Jeff Achtem. Welcome to the swamp. Achtem, dressed in purple leggings, a blazer and miniskirt (or kilt?) has something of a mad professor ...

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Fly by Night – Spark Children’s Arts Festival, Curve, Leicester

Writers: Bare Toed Dance Company Music: Ged Camille Directors: Lina Johansson, Mona McCarthy, Pady O’Connor and Gemma Paloma Reviewer: Linford Butler [rating:3] Bare Toed Dance Company’s Fly by Night works for one key reason: at its core there is a sense of conflict to which we can all relate. Focussing on bedtime, sleep and dreams, the audience is taken on ...

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Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales – Curve Leicester

Reviewer: Farhana Shaikh [rating:3.5] Part of The Spark Festival’s 10th birthday, Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales is an adaptation of four bestselling books by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Sheffler. Stories include Tiddler, The Smartest Giant in Town, A Squash and a Squeeze and Monkey Puzzle. The children were excited, the curtains were up and the show started with ...

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Peter Pan – Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Writer: Vicky Ireland, after J M Barrie Music and lyrics:Steven Markwick Director: Bob Carlton Reviewer: Michael Gray [rating:4] J M Barrie, creator of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, and originator of the name Wendy, is very present in this stage version. His words – the oaths, the archaisms, the obscure and the weird – are faithfully retained, and he ...

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Gulliver’s Travels, Curve, Leicester

Writer: Peter Rumney Director: Adel-Al-Salloum Reviewer: David Cundill [Rating:4] Leicester’s Spark Children’s Arts Festival is off to a cracking start with this retelling of Jonathan Swift’s classic tale of Gulliver’s Travels, which schools and families aged 9+ are sure to enjoy. This play was fun, accessible and engaging and we thoroughly enjoyed our journeys with Gulliver to all the magical ...

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Tiddler – Connaught Theatre, Worthing

Authors: Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson Reviewer: Ann Bawtree [rating:5]   A charming and understated rendition of some favourite tales which includes Tiddler, The Smartest Giant, The Monkey Puzzle and A Squash and a Squeeze by Axel Scheffler and Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson. Although they are the authors of The Gruffalo series we were warned from the outset, to avoid ...

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HighTide Festival: The Adventure – The Printworks, Halesworth

Writer: Oliver Birch Director: Dan Bird Reviewer: Glen Pearce [rating:4.5]   Some reviews are difficult to write, not because there isn’t anything to say about a production, but, because the fact that the element of surprise is so central to the success of the piece, that to say anything that would weaken the whole experience. So it is with Bad ...

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