Delightfully staged and appealing to all ages this production uses simple yet effective techniques to create the distinction between the tiny Borrowers and their full size counterparts, the “human beans”.
As The Boy peers through the floorboards into the Borrowers secret hideway we see him on his hands and knees looking through a tiny trap door in the stage. At the same time, the roof of the set slides across to reveal a large face representing the Boy gawping through the hole. In some parts, Judith Croft’s set is crudely drawn but has the desired effect nonetheless particularly when a peg bag is lowered through the hole and the Borrowers are gassed out of their home. There are other nice touches too like Spiller’s sardine can boat and a captured cricket.
Clare Fraenkel is innocently inquisitive as Arrietty with Katerina Jugati as her fussing mother Homily and John Webb as Pod. William Gregory plays the Boy with wide-eyed naivety, Genevieve Walsh is the wicked housekeeper Mrs Driver and Nicholas Lumley plays Crampfurl with a cheeky glint in his eye. Tony Hasnath is the mysterious Spiller and worldly Gypsy Boy.
John Adams directs this final production at the Haymarket prior to its forthcoming closure and leaves the audience with warm memories of a truly enjoyable show.