We do love Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre, and as the boys get bigger, I fear I may be toddling up there on my own to watch shows without them! We took them to see The Moomins ‘Moominssummer Madness’ at the weekend, and we are all in agreement that it was a most delightful show. We were enchanted by the characterisation of Snorkmaiden and Moomintroll, of Moomimmamma, Snufkin and Little My (the youngest boys’ favourite character by far – see handwritten review below!) of course, Misabelle was absolutely fabulous too.
The show is based on Tove Jansson’s 1964 book Moominsummer Madness and as the boys and their Dad have read MOST of Tove Jansson’s Moomins Books they were chuckling along and all said that it was a great adaption.
Tove Jansson’s much-loved Moomins are brought to life on stage with the ensemble’s fabulous puppetry, songs and and great humour. Moominsummer Madness is part of Tove100, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tove Jansson.
We are so lucky to live within walking distance to one of the UK’s best children’s theatres so were delighted when the Polka Theatre announced their new production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
I went along with my 9yo son, and his best friend – and they were engaged from the minute they sat in their seats – the set is delightful! Well done to Ti Green – it’s a spectacle, from the nursery attic room, to the rose garden, she has brought a contemporary twist to this Victorian classic.
Our Alice (played by Ebony Feare) was the children’s favourite character, smiley, confident, brave and bright (and sometimes sitting in the seats beside us!) Ebony‘s physicality is incredible, she has a way of moving which actually has you believing that she is changing size….!
On further discussion, and a post-show browse through the (rather superb) programme, each of the players had praise heaped upon them!
The children agreed that the cast are indeed very talented. Each actor plays several characters in Wonderland (see, that programme is VERY useful!): Nia Davies (Mother, Mouse, Duchess, Dormouse and Card Five), Robert Saunders (Dodo, Cook, Mad Hatter and Cryphon), Dale Superville (White rabbit, Eagle, Caterpillar, Card Two and Mock Turtle), Gehane Strehler (Sister, Duck, Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts and Child) and Sam Worboys (Parrot, March Hare, Kings of Hearts and Dad).
Director Rosamunde Hutt’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is “true to the original; full of nonsense, startling characters and situations that can be rather frightening”.
We loved the costumes – Katie Lias, the costume designer, really helps us to believe in the characters, the simplicity of the Cheshire Cat through to the spectacle of the Queen of Heart’s BEAUTiful dress (pictured), the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle – (my favourite was the Duck… I want that dress!) – Such fabulous sing-a-long songs – we left with a spring in our step, and talked about the production ALL the way home.
Adapted by Simon Reade
Based on the novel by Lewis Carroll
Music by Martin Ward
Director Rosamunde Hutt
Set Designer Ti Green
Costume Designer Katie Lias
Composer Martin Ward
Movement Director Lawrence Evans
Simon Reade Adapter
Arnim Friess Lighting and AV Designer
Illustration by Manuel Šumberac