Emily Brown and the Thing (5 stars)

This article is from 2014

Emily Brown and the Thing

Slick storybook adaptation with a big heart

Emily Brown had successfully completed two adventures when the little boy sitting next to me turned to his mum. ‘I wish there was another adventure,’ he said longingly. ‘There is,’ replied mum, ‘she goes on three’.

The look of glee on his face, when he realised his mis-remembering of Cressida Cowell’s story, was priceless. For Emily Brown does indeed embark on three quests to stop ‘The Thing’ from crying, tummy rumbling and coughing – all of which are keeping her, and her equally adventurous toy rabbit Stanley, from sleeping.

In the original picture book, the adventures are over in the blink of an eye – but in Tall Stories’ new production, we’re taken into a scary wood, freezing fridge and spooky basement, as our formidable heroine locates and secures The Thing’s cuddly, bedtime milk and special green medicine.

It’s no surprise that the team behind The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Mr Benn have once again come up trumps – but Emily Brown and the Thing has an extra special charm.

Catchy tunes are joined by a soundtrack of original music that helps drive the story along; Emily and Stanley switch between human-size and puppets to witty and, at times, poignant, effect. While all three cast members demonstrate a vibrant energy, sense of fun, tenderness and technically strong capacity for physical storytelling.

One of the company’s finest hours.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 7), 2.05pm, £8--£10 (£7--£9).

Emily Brown and the Thing

  • 5 stars

Emily and Stanley the rabbit's sleep is interrupted by the curious 'Thing' outside.