Edinburgh Fringe 2011
This delightfully clever adaptation of a children’s story, performed by a cast that oozes talent, includes all the elements for superb family entertainment.
Mole wakes one morning, pops his head out of his hole, and without warning is pooped on … and so the ‘poodunnit’ adventure begins, as he tries to find out who would do such a terrible thing to him. Throughout his journey, he encounters a number of different animals, before finally finding the culprit, with the able assistance of a couple of flies who happen to be expert in matters of excretIa!
Beautifully adapted for live performance by Kippertie Theatre’s Artistic Director Bernie C Byrnes, the adventure not only follows the original storyline of the book, but has been extended so that each animal shares an educational segment with the audience … counting with Hare, a Fairy Tale with Goat, and a Nursery Rhyme with Cow … along with a number of appropriate original songs, written by Jim Fowler.
Each animal performs a demonstration of how they poo, in order to be eliminated from the suspect list, and this exercise alone manifests some of the best facial expressions I have seen on the Fringe this year.
The performers, Sally Lofthouse as Mole, and Bernie C Byrnes and Stephanie Willson as the various animals, are all accomplished in their performances, with wonderfully humorous characterisations, including some witty lines for the benefit of the adults in the audience … Byrnes’ 1960’s inspired Goat being a particular favourite of mine, and Willson showed her expert comic skill with her Hare and Cow characters. The comic asides shared by Mole (Lofthouse) and Goat (Byrnes), obviously aimed at the adults, as Cow worked her way around the children in the audience, was a great example of the skill of this ensemble cast to perform to an audience of mixed ages, and even more, the thought that has gone into making it a satisfying experience for all.
Staging is simple, effective and appeared to be reasonably portable, making this an excellent candidate to tour into theatres, schools, shopping malls, etc.
It was obvious to me that all the audience were enjoying themselves. There was the right amount of action, interactivity, elements of pantomime and humour aimed at all members of the audience, to keep everyone happily in their seats for the entire hour.
Four stars: Highly Recommended