Belt Up Theatre’s A Little Princess
Unengaging adaptation of a timeworn classic
This article is from 2012.
Young York company Belt Up Theatre have been the toast of the Fringe in recent years for their immersive, intensive renditions of stories new and old, but it feels like things have gone off the boil slightly with this staging of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s rather timeworn tale.
Serena Manteghi performs solidly but a little too earnestly as Sara Crewe, a precocious Daddy’s little princess at odds with her nasty piece of work of a boarding school teacher, Miss Minchin (a role tackled with aplomb and humour by a bearded Dominic Allen in a dress), and left in a pickle when her doting but ultimately cowardly father dies bankrupt.
There are some nice touches in the production, and as might now be expected from Belt Up there is some fun involvement for the audience – who, seated on cushions and low chairs around the edges of the room, represent the rest of the ‘girls’. But the acting is too often rather shrill, and ultimately the power of make believe that the story so exalts just doesn’t enliven this production.
C nova, 0845 260 1234, until 27 Aug, 6.30pm, £8.50–£12.50 (£6.50–£10.50).