ChildrensLondonReviewWest End

Tadpoles – Lyric Hammersmith, London

Co-writers: Gilly Basleyfield and Dot Wood
Music: Tayo Akinbode
Choreography: TC Howard
Reviewer: Ann Bawtree


The M6 Theatre Company has come up with another triumph of a play for small people. Tadpoles, based on a single voice play by Dennis Conlon, has a cast of three, Captain Conquer and Captain Clever, together with the unseen voice over of Mission Control, Sue Johnstone. The two Captains are instructed to “go out and save the world”. In an avoidance of typecasting, Captain Conquer, who can smash down a door with a single punch and scale a cliff face without a tremor is played by the elegantly acrobatic Emily Spowage while the brawny Luke Walker is Captain Clever, the brains of the game, who can sort out a Rubik’s cube with lightning speed and displays wide general knowledge.

The action is set in a children’s playground that is scheduled for demolition, represented by some rather shabby scaffolding. At one side lies a huge redundant tractor tyre that serves as a nursery for the tadpoles of the title. The two heroes have not had much success in their missions and are threatened with demotion unless their teamwork improves.

As a result of their competition to become the leader, they realise that the world they have to save this time is that of the tadpoles and that to accomplish this they must work together. On their journey to this objective, they discover some apparently random letters that can be “decoded”, a scene much enjoyed by the audience who participate with energy. After a lengthy debate, they resolve their differences and learn to appreciate each other’s talents.

As the story progresses, she learns that real super-heroes, however physically strong, are never bullies and hethat cheats never prospers. Both are required to make sacrifices of dearly loved possessions in order to achieve the greater good.

Altogether a deeply moral tale much appreciated by the audience for which it was written.


Runs for individual performances until 20 March 2016 on tour. For dates and venues go,



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