Review: The Princess And The Pea, York Theatre Royal

26 Sep 2014 @ 9.27 pm
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The three-strong cast create at least ten brilliant characters. Photograph: Brian Slater Photography / York Theatre Royal

  The Princess And The Pea by Tutti Frutti theatre company
  York Theatre Royal Studio, September 25

Me and my date bobbled into town expectant to have some fun times at the theatre.

I’d hyped up the show to Bobby – anyone with a toddler knows, compliance is all in the sell. So I was truly hoping that it was in fact going to be fun.

I was also hoping that my full-of-beans toddler was going to be well behaved and sit through the show.

Into the Theatre Royal we skipped, a quick mandatory pit stop to the loo and then into a dimly lit room we went.

We took our seats, Bobby on his booster seat (love the fact the theatre had these, as a freakishly tall man ended up sat in front of us).

Bobby scanned the scenery spotting sparkly shoes, a crown, lots of boxes and three very busy caretakers sweeping and dusting.

The show began and I was immediately pleased as the Prince, played by Oliver Mawdsley, shouted out hello and we all shouted hello back. And so it was; lots of audience interaction, and lots of singing!

I wasn’t expecting all the singing, dancing and instrument playing – a tuba, ukelele, an accordion and the spoons. Even the instruments were funny and fun.

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Danielle Bird, Oliver Mawdsley and Joanna Brown. Click to see the full image

We laughed aloud at the characters and the jokes. There were three cast members – Oliver, Danielle Bird and Joanna Brown – but thanks to their dexterity we met at least ten comically brilliant characters.

The story was light and kid friendly, and the staging and props were all cleverly designed and executed; believable even for a discerning three year old like Bobby.

Exhaustingly clever scripting by Mike Kenny (The Railway Children, York Mystery Plays), the cast was high octane giving 60 minutes of constant chatter and action.

It was witty and fast paced. I’m pretty sure Bobby missed most of what was being said but enjoyed it none the less.

Honestly, prior to this outing if you’d asked me if theatre was toddler friendly I’d have laughed and said no way. But Bobby sat wide-eyed and still(ish) for 60 minutes! What a winner!

I loved The Princess And The Pea: it was a great afternoon treat for us. Bobby loved it too, such a great new experience. Two thumbs up from us!

  The Princess And The Pea is at York Theatre Royal until Saturday, October 4. Performances are at 11am & 1.30pm. Tickets are £10 for adults and £6 per child

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