Rosie’s Magic Horse
Book adaptation that struggles to hold our attention
This article is from 2015.
There’s no shortage of effort, enthusiasm or energy in this show from Peaceful Lion Productions, so in a way, it’s not entirely their fault that it doesn’t quite hit the spot.
Because while there’s an honest pragmatism about sharing the burdens of adult life with children, it’s crucial that the package it’s delivered in feels honest, too. Which is where Russell Hoban’s book – although beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake – feels a little hollow.
Music has been added to flesh out the narrative, but there’s something bizarre, and possibly even incongruous, about lively songs with lyrics depicting a family’s ‘financial difficulties’.
The tale itself is not short on adventure, played out using rod and shadow puppetry, and some dynamic physical acting. The eponymous Rosie watches her parents stress over unpaid bills (something many children, past and present, have experienced) and wishes she could do something to help.
That night, lying in bed, her collection of lolly sticks join together to make ‘Stickerino’, a horse with an eye for travel. Off they go, across cities, deserts and mountains, encountering colourful characters and, magically, returning with a bag of gold that solves all the family’s money worries.
If only life were that simple. There’s a vague message here about thinking creatively when you’re in a jam, and that loving each other is more important than money. But at times the show lacks pace, and the story itself lacks a believable heart.
Pleasance Courtyard, 225 5366, until 31 Aug, 10am, £10 (£9).