Morality with music
This article is from 2007.
Many children’s shows profess to be ‘adult friendly’, but few deliver to the same degree as this hugely enjoyable new production. Written by former children’s laureate, Michael Morporgo, Aesop’s timeless fables have been fleshed out into sharp, witty, theatrical vignettes.
Before a single tale is told we’re introduced to the underlying morals, such as ‘fair-weather friends aren’t worth having’, ‘gentle persuasion is often the best’ and ‘nobody believes a liar, even when they’re telling the truth’ – each sung in perfect harmony. Then, the tales begin – ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, ‘The Goose Who Lay The Golden Egg’ and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, among others.
We’ve all heard these tales a thousand times, so it’s a major credit to Morporgo and the talented performers that they’re fresh as morning bread. Three actors, one of whom turns his hand to several instruments during the show, attack the tales with gusto. Through simple costume changes, they inhabit one hilarious character after another, using a series of unusual props to great comic effect.
Targeted at anyone over the age of 5, Aesop’s Fables is the perfect example of how to entertain adults and children at the same time. Produced by Scamp Theatre, the company who brought us the wonderful Private Peaceful last Fringe, this is one not to miss. (Kelly Apter)
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 13), 12.15pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).