Burglar Bill (4 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Burglar Bill

Winning adaptation of kids’ classic

This stage re-imagining of Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s much-loved illustrated fable, by Pandora’s Box theatre company, retains the offbeat humour and otherworldly atmosphere of the original, while throwing in plenty of opportunities for audience interaction.

As jovial, serial tea-leaf Burglar Bill embarks on his night’s work, stealing everything from toothbrushes to cans of baked beans, and even a basket containing a baby, the two-strong cast create an entire swag bag’s worth of engaging larger-than-life characters, with brightly-coloured costumes and a nifty black-and-white striped set to match.

As in the book, the moral – that crime doesn’t pay – comes across loud and clear without being too preachy and condescending. The songs are catchy and easy to sing along and perform the actions to, and while there are plenty of slapstick moments for the wee ones to giggle at, there’s a smattering of humour pitched at wrinklies too.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 18, 25), 2.30pm, £7–£8 (£6–£7).

Burglar Bill

  • 4 stars

Who's that creeping down the street? Who's that climbing up the wall? Who's that coming through the window? Who's that?...It's Burglar Bill! Every night Burglar Bill has stolen fish and chips and a stolen cup of stolen tea for supper, then he swings a big stolen sack over his shoulder and goes off to work…


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