Director: Toby Mitchell
Reviewer: David Doyle
Famed for their adaptations of well-known children’s books, Tall Stories have tackled Julia Donaldson’s The Snail And the Whale in their latest venture. Telling the story of one little girl, her seafaring father, and the bedtime stories they tell, the show is an entertaining and slick adaptation but one that at times lacks warmth.
As the audience filters into the space, there’s a palpable sense of excitement for the children at the show, which is expertly seized upon by the cast who play games with the audience before the show starts. The infectious excitement continues throughout the early parts of the show, which while slightly lacking in narrative, are fun nonetheless. When the story gets going it’s an engaging look at a father-daughter relationship that is packed full of family fun.
There are some particularly strong elements to the piece including live music and sound effects, which run throughout the piece creating a real sense of atmosphere. Impressive design helps the story evolve and the imaginative use of set pieces is a real crowd pleaser. Moments of audience interaction are nicely conceived and executed and really bring the young audience into the story.
For all its strengths the piece is somewhat too slick for its own good. It lacks a genuine warmth and charm, which detracts from the piece. A piece about the close relationship between a parent and child gets somewhat swamped by the cavernous size of the space. Despite this, the show is a real success with the young audience and boasts enough to make it a worthwhile morning for any family.
Runs until 21 August 2016 (Not 17)