Thursday, February 29

Little Red – HOME Mcr

It is well documented that pantomime is usually the first experience of the theatre most children will have, but it is a fact that some children will not like that larger than life spectacle. Enter stage left the play created with children in mind.

At worst children’s theatre will patronize and at best will stimulate their interest and from looking at the young people in the audience of “Little Red”, this production does the latter in spades.

Created by the company of four actors, we are presented with the well known and loved story of Little Red Riding Hood with added songs and music and a small amount of audience participation.

The songs and music composed by Patrick Dineen entirely suit the work and move the story along beautifully. A simple but clever set and effective and atmospheric lighting create the scene for seventy five minutes of entertainment that fair whizzes along.

Created by Kevin Dyer and the cast of four who play all the parts from woodcutter to feisty granny a collection of animals and a pack of wolves. The four are Francesca Anderson, Stephanie Greer, Anoush Kendrick who move into and out of their various characters with ease and skill and finally, Fatima Jawara is the eponymous Little Red beautifully innocent and anxious to please. All of them engage the audience throughout and work so well together. They are in turn, singers and dancers with humour and well judged scary moments.

Having said this is theatre primarily intended for children, there is much for grown up’s to enjoy with jokes and a “Sondheimesque” trot through various other fairy stories. Indeed this world weary reviewer and the adult couple sitting behind me came out of the auditorium with a huge smile. It clearly went down well with the parents and chaperones of the children in the audience. The children themselves appeared to have been spellbound and rightly so.

In a world of so much technological entertainment, it is wonderful to see young people entertained in this “low tech” way. It is a beautifully uplifting tale wonderfully told.

Little Red runs at HOME until Wednesday 6th December before moving on to Theatre Porto, Ellesmere Port.

Reviewer: Philip Edwards

Reviewed: 1st December 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.