The Magic Porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales
Tales told through a set filled with surprise and delight
This article is from 2015.
If there’s one thing you quickly learn at a Theatre of Widdershins show, it’s that nothing is as it seems. If you see a pile of stones sitting in a basket, a box of porridge in a shopping trolley or an empty brass pot on a stove – chances are, there’s more to them than meets the eye.
That’s one of the chief delights about watching The Magic Porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales – wondering what storytelling Andy Lawrence will transform next. With three full tales packed into this lively hour, there’s a lot of scope for building, re-shaping and creating people and places before our eyes. All the more impressive when you know that Lawrence hand-crafts all the set and props himself.
First up is the well-loved Magic Porridge Pot – but, as with all Widdershins shows – the tale has been modified to give it a new slant. Now, it’s an elderly lady and her over-sized dog (who thinks he’s a butterfly) that are given the pot. The usual mayhem ensues, requiring the audience to join in the magic spell. As ever, Lawrence has found a funny and charming solution to producing an abundance of porridge on-stage.
Then it’s on to the next tale – Stone Soup, a lesser-known traditional folk story, in which a hungry stranger fools the townspeople into feeding him. Only here, the people are replaced by the charmingly named (and cleverly constructed) head chef, ‘Waffle Sweat’. Once more, Lawrence involves the audience, asking us to throw things into the pot, and provoking peels of laughter when droplets of water bounce out.
The food theme draws to a close with The Gingerbread Man, again with a witty twist and fun opportunities to join in.
All the tales go down well with both young and not-so-young – and why wouldn’t they? There’s no age restriction on finding wonderment in transformation.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 556 9579, until 30 Aug, 1pm, £9 (£7).