The Little Lost Frog and the Christmas Wish review at Brook Theatre Chatham
This inspired promenade show for very young children is immersive as well as interactive and uses three different areas of the Brook auditorium. When an entranced child, aged perhaps three, is led into the third set and spontaneously gasps "Wow! We're in fairyland", which is what happened at the performance I saw, the cast and other creatives can rest assured they're doing a good job.
Mark Conway's very appealing bright green, Lycra-clad, homesick little frog who is afraid of the water - a character every child can identify with - wants to get home to his mother for Christmas. It's a gentle, traditional quest story in which every child in the audience helps the frog to find the light and water, as they've decided he needs to build a rainbow that will take him home. It's more like a game than a play.
Miriam Cooper, a pleasingly watchable actor, is a homely baker of cupcakes at the beginning and later a long-nosed wicked sprite who is eventually forgiven and befriended. Natalie Bond's nimble footed, wide-eyed, shining-faced cat is enjoyable and Nina Atkinson gives an evocative performance as Christmas Wish, a fairy.
But the very best aspect of this show is the magical - a word often overused at this time of year but apt here - sets, which envelop marvelling children in a world of forests of illuminated trees, descending lights, ribbons, coloured lanterns and a lot more. I thought I was in fairyland, too.
Brook Theatre, Chatham, December 16-January 5
- Miriam Cooper, Nancy Hirst
- Nancy Hirst
- Brook Theatre, Icon Theatre Company, Play on Words, Loop Dance Company
- Miriam Cooper, Mark Conway, Natalie Bond, Nina Atkinson
- Running time