Tony and Mike - The Country Owl and the City Squirrel (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

Tony and Mike - The Country Owl and the City Squirrel

Confused reworking of the Town Mouse and The Country Mouse at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Fringe First winners Tom Frankland and Laura Mugridge return to Edinburgh with their first attempt at children's theatre. In theory, this has taken its inspiration from The Tale of The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, but equally it may well have taken re-runs of The Good Life to heart.

Charlotte and Joe relocate to some rural outback, bringing with them Mike the Squirrel (a raucous Scouse tree dweller) who wastes no time annoying the stuffy and sedate Tony the Owl (who just enjoys peace and quiet). While the animals try to get along, the humans attempt to adjust to the change in lifestyle and circumstance.

This dual storyline is part of the problem, as it leads to the show being drawn in different directions. The age guide is 4–7 but realistically anyone over the age of five is likely to find it a little sluggish, and on the evidence of this performance, younger audience members are likely to enjoy the puppets but become visibly and audibly restless whenever they aren't present.

Both cast members are energetic and endearing but the confused storytelling, lack of a clear underlying message and failure to make the most of the puppet characters in favour of the human story leaves the adults cold and the children fidgeting.

Summerhall, 560 1581, until 24 Aug (not 19), 3.45pm, £9-£10 (£7-£8).

Tony and Mike - The Country Owl and the City Squirrel

  • 2 stars

Tom Frankland and Laura Mugridge Tony the Owl lives in the countryside. He’s really happy until Joe and Charlotte move from the city and ruin his peace and quiet. To make matters worse, they’ve brought Mike the squirrel with them. He’s loud, cheeky and he likes to party! A new story, from Fringe First Award winners Tom…