dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Little Pony review at Cervantes Theatre, London – ‘an impassioned anti-bullying drama’

Paul Albertson and Rachel Sanders in The Little Pony at Cervantes Theatre, London. Photo: Elena Molina
by -

Inspired by recent high-profile bullying cases, The Little Pony revolves around 10 year old Timmy, whose talismanic attachment to a pink backpack sees him tormented by his schoolmates, and dismissed as a problem student by the faculty. Here, the promising concept serves mostly as springboard for a thorough, thoughtful examination of the blurred lines between identity and escapism, between personal choice and the stable but stultifying roles dictated by tradition.

Written by award winning playwright Paco Bezerra and translated by Marion Peter Holt, the text is weighted with an earnestness which often feels clumsily portentous, but occasionally shines with resonant poetry. As Timmy’s parents unpack their own faults and fears, they seem to stumble into velvety metaphors about growing jasmines on rose bushes, about a home transformed into a ‘deaf and empty moon.’

Director Paula Paz plays up the family’s sharply different personalities, having Paul Albertson stalk the space or sprawl across the floor as the boy’s father Daniel. Still something of a child himself, he recites facts about astronauts, flies into mercurial rages, and persistently, maddeningly patronises his wife. Rachel Sanders makes a superb counterpoint, a tightly controlled presence providing a voice of practicality, but viscerally tormented by her inability to understand her troubled son.

Alejandro Andujar’s simple, all-pink set is draped in gauzy curtains and upholstered in rosy velour. A child’s photo hangs overhead, slowly transforming between scenes, the boy’s features erased as he slips further from his parent’s reality and into his own imaginary world.

Cervantes Theatre, London: The dynamic venue giving Spanish writers a voice on the London stage

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
Verdict
Committed performances provide an emotional centre for Paco Bezerra’s pensive but impassioned anti-bullying drama
^