Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Stig of the Dump review at The Carriageworks Leeds

by -

Mike Kenny, the leading adapter of children’s stories, and the integrated company Mind The Gap make an irresistible combination. Their version of Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, seen in the spring, was Mind The Gap’s most successful tour to date.

With Stig of the Dump, Kenny is in playful mood. The four actors play with the audience – they play on an exciting, magical set on which things drop, thud, bang and spring into life.

“Close your eyes,” commands JoAnne Haines, as perky sister Lou. It is far better for us to imagine her brother Barney’s fall into the dump, she insists, and it is. Then the fun really begins.

Your reviewer was astonished to be told that Daniel Collier, who plays Barney, is only in his second year of actor training, for adults with a learning disability, at Mind The Gap. He invests his role with amiable charm. His assurance is remarkable.

Alan Clay has acted with the company for rather longer, after being one of the first to graduate from in-house training. He operates a Stig puppet and when greater action is needed he dons a mask and becomes Stig. His acting is wonderfully exuberant.

Gemma Ryan plays the children’s sedate grandma but has the opportunity to let rip as one of the Snarget brothers, the naughtiest children in the neighbourhood. Fun parts like this come along only very rarely.

A fun show throughout – a show with a broad, infectious grin. Feeling jaded? Go see this – it will inspire and excite and leave you with a lump in your throat

Production Information

The Carriageworks, Leeds, October 27, then touring until December 9

Clive King, adapted by Mike Kenny
Tim Wheeler
Mind The Gap
Alan Clay, Daniel Collier, JoAnne Haines, Gemma Ryan
Running time
1hr 5mins

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price