Review: Hey Diddle Diddle, Bristol Old Vic

8 12 2012

Nursery rhymes are so ingrained in adults’ subconscious that even if it has been years since you have heard about Little Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet or Bo Peep losing her sheep, the words will soon come back to you as quickly as Incy Wincy Spider gets washed out of the water spout.

In Bristol, we love rhymes and nonsense verse so much that we have even named a restaurant after a line from The Owl and the Pussycat, the poem by Edward Lear. Dine on slices of quince at the Runcible Spoon in Kingsdown, and pay with money wrapped up in a five pound note.

If you haven’t already guessed, Hey Diddle Diddle, directed by Bristol Old Vic Young Company director Miranda Cromwell in the Bristol Old Vic studio, is packed full of nursery rhymes.

Although it doesn’t have a narrative, other than three adventurous siblings – Owen Ridley DeMonick, Isabelle Cressy and Alice Barclay – downstairs after their bedtime, it matters not.

Familiarity with the content is the key to the children’s fun, as well as some delightful musical elements and energetic fooling around in a giggle-a-minute show; while adults will enjoy references to a lamb called Mr Tagine, also known as Mr T.

For the under-sixes who this show is aimed at, it will be impossible not to be swept along by all the excitement.

All sorts of cruel punishments for a naughty wolf were dreamed up by a rowdy reception class yesterday, but the suggestion taken on board was just to say “go away wolf!”, which we duly chanted at the wolf’s fearsome shadow.

Alongside other clever shadows, with a spider shadow taking on human form for a well choreographed dance with a long thread, much of the fun, and also the frights, came out of a mysterious black box.

Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey Diddle Diddle, Bristol Old Vic until January 5. Click here for more information.



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