Love and laughter in a pea-green boat 0...

Edward Lear's nonsense poem is filled with bizarre IDCOflglUlIlQS. A bird and a cat who fall in love; money wrapped up in money; a turkey with the power to inarny what's it all about. Eddie? Thankfully, Tall Stories has taken sOme of the mystery out of the legendary verse. and created 50 minutes of inspired stOrytelling. A little wordy for the under- fours maybe. but perfect for four to eight-year- olds (and With acting sharp enough to hook every adult in the house). this latest venture from the folks who brought us The Grutfalo is tight. Witty and charming. And as ever. Tali Stories prowdes a fantastic Introduction to theatre Without talking down to its audience. (Kelly Apter) I C. 0870 707 5705. until 30 Aug (not 75). 3pm, €7.50 (53560—650).



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Poor Max has lost his teddy. and needs the help of Granny. Surfer Dude. Robot Girl and

for non-festival magazine

MOON Gerbil to get hip? back With Such a colourful cast of characters. this show ebuld hardly fail. But Dude! is much more than a sum of its parts. Filled with catchy songs. great one-liners and lots of teddy waving. this is as engaging as children's theatre gets. Perfect for little ones aged two and over and great for all those grown-ups who still have a soft spot for Bill and Ted. (Kelly Apteri I C, 0870 707 5 705. until 30 Aug, 7 0am, {56.50 (l.‘4.50—F5.50/.

JAZZ MOUSE Funky French fairytale COCO

‘If you really know what you're domg. you can even make a wrong note sound right'. Wise words indeed from the seriously groovy Parisian rodent. who guides a dispirited little girl through some very boring piano lessons converting her tyrannical auntie to the joys of Jazz in the process. Ailie Cohen‘s imaginative one-woman fairytale displays all the Wit and sophistication that made last year's Rumpe/sti/tskin such a gem. Music. songs and some brilliantly expressive puppets are aimed squarely at the imagination. and complement Cohen's warm. spirited performance in a show that‘s perfectly pitched for kids and grown-ups alike. (Allan Radcliffe)

Dr Bunhead has had his chips



Despite using ultra-modern equipment to move his Jurassic stars around the stage. Herbie's circus is as traditional as they come. There are no animals (save for the pre-historic kind) and no red noses, but in every other respect, this is straightforward, good honest family fare. Performed in the Pod Deco (the now defunct Odeon), a venue which affords all the excitement of the big top, with the comfort of a theatre, Herbie’s circus holds appeal for all age groups.

Lively banter and jokey repartee are the order of the day, as Herbie and his fellow showmen tease each other, and us, at every available opportunity. Two men plucked from the audience find themselves trotting across the stage dressed as a pantomime horse. Another unsu5pecting dad is proclaimed the ‘International Guest Star’ and left alone, centre stage, to entertain us with a hapless look.

All good fun - be we came to see what the professionals could do. And, of course, for a glimpse of Herbie’s much-hyped dinosaurs. Sadly, the giant creatures only appear four times, but when they do, a ripple of excitement runs through every child in the theatre. The rest of the show is filled with impressive acrobatics, tight rope walking, juggling, slapstick and, to appeal to children‘s baser instincts, a healthy dollop of dinosaur poo. (Kelly Apter)

I Pod Deco. 08707 55

I Assembly Rooms. 226 2428, until 30 Aug (not 76. 23) 77.30am, E6 (E4).


Growing up: its a mug’s game.

Ryan isn't some theatre school drop out who entertains kids until that role of Hamlet washes up on his desk. He's an established stand-up reminiscent of a mOre affable Ricky Gervais who knows that children like a laugh as much as their parents do.

He lets the little 'uns dictate what happens: so if that's songs. stories Or making the grown-ups act like breakdancmg monkeys or tap-dancmg dogs. then so be it. In the hands of a less competent ringleader this c0uld descend into

chaos. but Ryan handles tiny hecklers With ease. His approach is a little hit and miss. but thankfully there's much more of the former.

(Mark Robertsoni

I P/easance Courtiziril. 556 (5550. until 25) Aug (not 77) 72.20pm. £36437 (5‘.f.:3()—5‘:3.:3()i.

DR BUNHEAD’S RECIPES FOR DISASTER Scientific fun in the kitchen 00..

Never work with children or chemicals would be a senSible piece of advice for any performer. Yet. the product of Such a potent quion can be enormous fun. as Doctor Bunhead's chaotic induction into the world of scientific experimentation shows. YOung folk WI” gawk open-mouthed. their elders cowering with their hands over their

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ears as the ecceiitrii, boffiii t)llltlt)|f:f; his may around illf; (LllSiUllllfitfli kitchen (,lllll laliiiiatoi ,' and the peiioilii, table. There are spectacular bangs; and leaping flaines aplenty and in the slioxflf; inest iiitpressive stunt making chips li,‘ fii.i i; ;: tattie at top seeerl through a meal: .'.’|Tl‘. flit: aid of some '.l.'l(.‘fl..5:"‘ grown—ups.

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