The Lilliput Children’s Theatre Company excels in audience participation, and from the outset the reaction from the viewers of Goldilocks is spontaneous and very vocal, with all on stage responding heartily to the enthusiastic suggestions of the smaller audience members.
The story has been given a slight twist by director Elton John Duffy: it’s the birthday of Goldilocks (played in a fairly terrible blonde wig by Liande Valentyn) and her grandfather (Duffy) is preparing a party for her. Goldilocks’ best friend, Nikki (Nikki Louw) comes round to help but the irrepressibly mischievous Goldilocks persuades her to play hide and seek instead. Goldilocks makes a beeline for the woods and, inevitably, gets lost and finds herself at the bears’ house.
The plot for the three bears (Karen Visser, Bronwyn Reddy and Desle McConney) is particularly well scripted. Papa and Baby Bear are frankly sick of porridge asking ‘Can’t we have steak and chips for once?’ ‘No,’ replies Mama Bear firmly. ‘That would ruin the whole story.’
The chase scenes are hilarious, and the songs plentiful and catchy, while the choreography is charmingly simple. I lost some of the lyrics to the songs – a shame, since the tunes are on a loop in my head – but they were enjoyable nonetheless with leaping rhymes such as ‘porridge’ and ‘Norwich’. There was even a rather elegant orchestral version of the Porridge song.
The Lilliput Players production of Goldilocks is a great opportunity for young children to experience the magic of theatre. My boys were entranced from beginning to end. As my six year old said to me earnestly after the show, “Mummy, you can ask me any time to go to the theatre. I will always say yes.”
The Lilliput Players’ production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs at the Baxter Theatre 23 to 30 June 2012.
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