The Scarecrows’ Wedding at Leicester Square Theatre, London
“Fun, cute and friendly with a happy ending (spoiler!)”
For those who don’t know the enchanting worlds of Julia Davidson and Axel Scheffler - this play, in itself, is a wonderful introduction. I deeply suspect, though, that the children in the audience were very much aware. The authors came to light with The Gruffalo and since, with Scamp Theatre, have toured the UK with adaptations of the others books Stick Man and Tiddler.
It all starts quite smoothly - the actors entering the auditorium quietly. A few greetings and plenty of smiles. They meet and start to sing a song, working their way towards the stage, gently taking us into the action. As is so common these days, the performers not only play all the characters, but act, sing and play instruments with ease and grace. This performance had the trio of Philippa Hogg, Matthew Burns and Mark Kane.
The story is a simple romance between two scarecrows. In order to fulfil their wishes for the wedding that no one will ever forget, both Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay seek specific objects (rings, bells, pink flowers, a shell necklace and white feathers). They meet a variety of animals who help, including the farmer - Mark Kane, who also plays all of the animals!
Utilising props in unusual and imaginative ways, they create the illusion of animals. A toad, a snail [pictured], a cow, a crab - yes, and he’s Spanish! - and those honking geese.
There is plenty here for the adults, too. The children are mesmerised and the whole piece rattles along at a cracking pace. The songs lend themselves to traditional country in style, suitably fitting the countryside theme. (Although, I still don’t know how the crab fits in!)
It’s fun, cute and friendly with a happy ending (spoiler!). What’s not to like?
Photography: Helen Maybanks
Producers: Scamp Theatre
Director: Eva Sampson
Designer: James Button
Music: Elanor Higgins
Length: 55 minutes
Venue: Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London
Running until: Sunday 2nd September 2018
(Check website for performance dates and times)
Tickets: www.leicestersquaretheatre.com - 020 7734 2222
Pricing: £19.50 adults, £15.50 children.
Family tickets available.
Babes in arms go free!