Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Little Red Riding Hood" - December 2009

We know there is a thriving theatre scene for very young children, so we took the opportunity to take along some friends with their three year old to The Arches' contribution to this year's festive shows - Little Red Riding Hood. As this was to be his first experience of theatre his mum had done some careful preparation and ensured he knew the story - but she needn't have worried. The show cleverly starts with a quick run through of the whole tale in a storytelling style (including happy ending) before the characters appear and bring it all to life.

Natalie McConnon makes for a Little Red with a nice blend of sweetness and attitude, while Alasdair Macrae's Wolf is carefully pitched to be scary without being threatening to the young audience. Ewan Donald as the Woodcutter and Mary Gapinski as Granny complete an excellent cast, all of whom managed to make a connection with the audience (young and old).

I was asked by one of our friends before the show if it would work on different levels, and I responded that given the very young target audience I suspected this one would be firmly written for the wee ones. I was wrong - there's plenty here for the adults to enjoy. Not the innuendo that fills many pantos - just moments of clever humour, a nice line in Glasgow patter and a brilliant Little Red Riding Hood song I still can't get out of my head a week later!

Full of charm and energy, with its puppets, live music and songs it's exactly what is required to capture the hearts of the children and delight the adults accompanying them. A lovely piece of theatre.

Little Red Riding Hood runs at The Arches until Sunday 3rd January
Image by Niall Walker used with permission