Rene Taylor reviews this week’s children’s shows.

once-over with feather dusters and were told to sit up straight and be tidy— no slouching about in the audience at this show. We had our parts to play anyway. as unhappy villagers in Lumberland. The nasty ruling Count talks to a magic mirror which is accidentally broken by a cleaner. the spirit escaping to the Mirror Mountain. Affleck. the cleaner‘s son. is told to find the spirit of the mirror within one week or eat slime for one year. and it‘s dungeon for mum. On his mission he meets two scheming. cowardly knights. a dragon with a bad cough. the three-headed King of the Forest. three gullible ugly witches and eventually finds (with lots


This is children‘s theatre at its best. Ten young performers stage four lesser-known fairy tales in a show of witty. intelligent. colourful and highly theatrical ensemble playing. Usingonly imagination and energy they create sea-scapes. fountains. palaces. animals and forests to the accompaniment of a varied and lively percussive score. There‘s a spot of audience involvement. lots of physical and verbal gags and the ubiquitous brussel sprouts. Take the family!

(Mark “She‘ll i ofguidance fromthe I Love. Magic and Brussels I audience) the elusive Sprouts (Fringe)

spirit ofthe mirror. Affleck and the spirit return to Lumberland to confront the Count with a few home-truths and persuasion (green slime and custard pie work

; wonders). he reforms

enough totalk ofsharing his chocolate cake. a magnanimous gesture

indeed. The Able Players kept us on our toes throughout. no slouching your faces!‘ The Able allowed on stage either. Players threatened us with lots of comings and

dire consequences ifwe . goings. We forgot the loode happy. we got the consequences and


THE PLEASANCE I 2 Aug - 2 Sept 2.00pm (not I 3.2 I .29)



I4 Aug - 2 Sept I |.45am (not 2|,28) ‘An individual and winning style’ The Scotsman

‘You should and must catch them’ The Independent

see Fringe programme for details

Shoestring Players. The Royal Scots Club (Venue 49) 557 5091 . until 26 Aug (not Sun). 12 noon. £3 (£2).


‘Wipe those smiles off

enjoyed ourselves. (Margaret Bryce)

I Attleck's Amazing Adventures on his Mission torthe Magic Mirror (Fringe) The Able Players. Cafe Royal Bistro Theatre. (Venue 78). 17 W. Register Street. until 26 Aug. 12.15pm. Kids £2; Adults £2.50.


Perhaps we didn‘t pick the best of days to see The Troll Prince. Red Rose had made a few changes. so things didn‘t run as smoothly as they might have done. However. the few hiccups were not picked up by the young audience; one gaffe was cheekin turned into a gag. The Troll Prince is a Norse myth which has parallels today. man‘s greed. deforestation. loss of wildlife (trolls). ‘I hate consen'ationists!‘ shouts the bad guy of the tale. as he stamps upon a rescued bird‘s nest. lle dislikes Bob Geldofand David Bellamy too. Mythree reviewers aged 6. 8 and 10. found the story a wee bit confusing to retell. but had no trouble remembering all the scary and funny scenes. They understood the plight of the trolls against the instantly dislikeable forester (a little boy in the audience shouted at him quite fiercly at one point) and the solution to the problem led to a discussion about conservation going home. Hitches apart. Red Rose. an ‘Audience Friendly' troupe. gave a witty and stimulating performance. (Rene Taylor) I The Troll Prince Red Rose Theatre Company.

St Columba‘s by the Castle (Veneue 4). 220 1410.26.28.30 and 31 Aug. 4.50pm. £2(£1.50).


‘We don‘t get a Scottish Arts Council Grant and when you hear us you'll know why‘ says Mr Boom of his makeshift band a strageg queue of volunteers. eager. tiny toddlers. sporting dads and hesitant grans. Each clutches a musical instrument. prepared to play and march while the rest of the audience do the vocals. Mr Boom isa one-man-band but he's never on his own for very long. his Pied-Piper appeal means there‘s always children wanting to join in. Never at a loss. he finds parts and instruments for the ‘extras' to play. Well-known songs (Ye cannie shove yer grannie affa bus. lfyou‘re happy and you know it. clap your hands. etc) with lots of actions give a chance to work offexcess energy. Everyone is invited to dance and to join in a ring game at the end ofthe show. There‘s no shortage of takers. (Susan Barnes) I Sing and Dance Along with Mr Boom Gilded Balloon. (Fringe Venue 38). 2262151. 30,31 Aug. 1 lam. £2.


I was chosen to be the cat! A lady was cleaning out a room full ofjunk. She found a box with puppets and her granddad‘s old puppet box. She threw all



IEU UlliOtll (HM!!! mm

the puppets into the box and they made funny noises. The lady pretended to be Little Miss Muffet and didn‘t understand us when we yelled that there was a spider beside her shoulder. What a fright she got! An old lady puppet called Doris came out to speak to the lady. and they decided to do Old Mother Hubbard. The wolf puppet he said he was an actor! had to be the dog in the story. He was really, really funny. He did everything wrong; Doris got very upset. but we all laughed. After that Doris's husband. Sid. came out to do some gardening. a turnip grew and grew just like the story and they needed help to pull it out. Sid and the lady chose. 1 was the cat; I wore a furry hat with ears. We got pieces of apple to eat instead of turnip. I don‘t like turnip. After the show the lady‘s husband brought some puppets to see us. a duck squirted us with water, the wolfwanted to eat everything but he let us tickle his chin and kiss him. I had a good time. (Jenni Taylor. aged 6) I A Marvellous Mess Over

the Top Puppet Company.

(Fringe) Church ofthe German Speaking Congregation. (Venue 103). 1 Chalmers Crescent. until 26 Aug. 1 1. 15am. £1.80.


Jean Guillon's striking appearance lends him the natural authority ofa story-teller. With his indescribable haircut. handlebar moustache and piercing eyes. he takes us into the realms of

traditional French folklore. Dungeons and dragons. giants and goblins and deeds of derring-do are imaginatively narrated along with descriptions of nagging and gossiping wives— fairy tales have little regard for feminist scruples!

Guillon re-creates his lost world through well-crafted theatrical techniques. using several voices and constant hand movements. Occasionally his lack of familiarity with the English language leaves him struggling for the exact word or phrase and his accent could at times be deceiving. but this was more than compensated for by his zestful performance and obvious love for his material. Watching Guillon brought back memories of childhood and Jackanory and it is by the very youngthat Guillon's obvious gifts will be most appreciated. (Gavin Fleming)

I Tales of Provence (Fringe) Jean Guillon. Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41). 225 7294. Until 2 Sept (Not Suns) 10.45am & 28 Aug—2 Sept 4.45pm. £4 (£3.50).


By Charles Barron with

5):! 0:51;, ill



'1‘}. .


() N E] L I J (g'ttotarsiion

The List 25—31 August 1989 35