Half-term began with the usual litany of bugs taking hold of everyone in the C-house. Sore throats notwithstanding, J and I braved the elements, determined not to let anything put a dampener on our excursion to the Waterside Art Centre. We were there not too long ago to watch the Moomins. This time it was the more traditional tale of The Emperor's New Clothes.
We all know the story of the emperor who wasted all his time and money on clothes. He wanted a brand new outfit for an upcoming parade, the likes of which has never been seen before. Enter a couple of con artists posing as fashion designers who charge a fortune to make him a unique set of clothes. Only the clever can see the robes, the stupid cannot. Courtiers, subjects and Emperor all put on a pretence of seeing the fine clothes so as not to be judged stupid. We end up with an Emperor parading stark naked till someone summons up the courage to speak the truth.
The tale may be traditional but the handling is anything but. The Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company have given it a contemporary feel. There are puppets, there are props, there is music and there is humour. Funnies to get little ones and grown-ups giggling. Like Bolche and Banana as the fashion designer duo, brought to life by the only two human cast members.
These two, between them, voice-over and manage all the puppets and props in the production. It is incredible to watch. Stand-out for me was the little pig with a cute Geordie accent, perhaps because it reminded me of wonderful times in Newcastle.
There are a couple of ‘Awww!’ moments where most parents in the audience leaned over to land kisses on their little ones. Also, the music score has some really catchy numbers that had me tapping my foot and keeping rhythm. I wonder if it is available to download.
If you haven’t already, I can highly recommend watching the production. There is lots happening at the Waterside Arts Centre through this half-term and beyond. So if you happen to find yourself in and around Manchester, do pop in and take a look.
Disclosure: We were given passes to watch and review the production. All opinions are my own.