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The Borrowers

“Magical retelling”

Grosvenor Open Air Theatre’s The Borrowers fully embraces the 21st century. It is truly a land of wonders with “two measures in every can”, as cheers Oliver Overmantle (Joseph Millson), climbing into a giant Marks and Spencer’s gin and tonic.

Rhys Jarman’s fantastically detailed props and costumes create a vivid world of the tiny folk who live behind the walls and hidden in the harpsichord, surviving on the things they can borrow and repurpose from “human beans”.

Ingenuity and inventiveness are also woven throughout Robert Shaw Cameron’s direction. Cling film becomes a slug’s trail while the interaction between naughty Borrower the Dreadful Spiller (a mischievous Marc Benga) and a severed mouse’s tail is worthy of David Cronenberg.

Vanessa Schofield is full of perky optimism as Arrietty the adventuress daughter of the Clock family. Her determination to join her father (Chris Wright) on foraging missions is well played out against her fussy mother – a scene-stealing turn by Lisa Howard.

Bryony Lavery’s witty adaption of Mary Norton’s original text clearly knows its audience and is peppered with local and contemporary references. New additions including Game of Thrones-inspired Daenerys Drudge (Whitney Kehinde) and a bombastic emcee-ing cricket (Mitesh Soni) alongside classic characters keep things fresh and fast-paced.

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Production Details
Production nameThe Borrowers
VenueGrosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
StartsJuly 13, 2019
EndsAugust 25, 2019
Running time2hrs
AuthorBryony Lavery
ComposerJohn Biddle
Book writerMary Norton
DirectorRobert Shaw Cameron
ChoreographerHelen Gould
Set designerRhys Jarman
Costume designerRhys Jarman
Lighting designerNick Ashcroft
CastChris Wright, Jessica Dives, Joseph Millson, Lisa Howard, Louise Wilson, Marc Benga, Mitesh Soni, Samuel Collings, Sarah-Jane Potts, Seren Vickers, Steven Elliott, Vanessa Schofield, Whitney Kehinde, William Lukeman
VerdictMagical retelling of Mary Norton’s little folk adventure that maximises its open-air Chester setting
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Francesca Peschier

Francesca Peschier

Francesca Peschier

Francesca Peschier

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