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The Hare and the Tortoise

Published Monday 24 December 2012 at 11:31 by Roger Malone

Who is the fastest - the Hare or the Tortoise? It doesn’t matter really, because the fun is in finding out.

Once again, Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company has created a well-crafted gem. Its simply-told new take on this age-old fable is a sheer delight. To captivate a whole audience of children, and the adults they have brought with them, is no doddle. But there is no boredom factor here accompanied by tell-tale loo breaks - the company commands our attention right from the start.

Gwendolyn Scott and Adam Fuller act the parts and operate the puppets - which give an added dimension and scope to the story telling.

Scott is a contented Tortoise, with a generous spirit, while Fuller gives us a competitive, self-satisfied tearaway Hare. Here is a case of hare hype versus tortoise cool.

When the Hare challenges the Tortoise to a competition the odds seem clearly stacked in his favour. The track and field trials become the subject of sports coverage with a couple of puppet birds handling the commentary.

A game of racket ball had to be the ultimate in audience participation with balls whacked out and thrown back by delighted children until the Hare collapses in exhaustion.

A board game, dance-off and, ultimately, a marathon race decide the winner of this most entertaining piece of physical theatre. There is loads of mirth and a few messages as well.

Here is an inventive, happy show complete with feel-good ending.

Production information

Drum, Plymouth, December 4-January 19

Tessa Bide
Marc Parrett
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
Gwendolyn Scott, Adam Fuller
Running time:

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014