TODAY'S REVIEW: Three Little Pigs, Northern Ballet, the Mayflower Theatre

A scene from Three Little Pigs

A scene from Three Little Pigs

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainments Editor

THIS captivating family frolic proved the perfect half term treat.

Stalls full of mainly pre-schoolers and their early years siblings, plus generations of delighted family, were enthralled by a show choreographed and performed just for young children.

It proved a delightful aside from Northern Ballet’s visit to Southampton with A Midsummer Night’s Dream at a suitably short 45 minutes.

My companions, my god-daughter Hannah Kennedy, aged four, and her three-year-old brother Ben, adored their first taste of theatre. They delighted in the colourful characters, giggled at the wiggling bottoms of the pigs and wolf, jiggled around to the familiar tunes of the live orchestra, including Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf by Frank Churchill, and didn’t want to leave at the end.

Our three playful piggy pals, danced in simple yet beautiful style, head off to market to buy straw, wood and bricks to build their own homes.

Watching over them is the big bad wolf, who, with a rumbling tummy, stalks the trio with just the right air of naughtiness so that it’s clear he’s a baddie, but he doesn’t terrify the youngsters.

The tale of the trio – complete with snouts and curly tails – plays out in front of a beautiful picture book set with gnomes, flowers and pretty houses, which collapse as the wolf huffs and puffs and manages to blow down of the hastily built creations of straw and sticks. Clever choreography brought every action to life to the sound of boos, gasps and cheers from the audience, but the children’s largest whoop was reserved for the moment the wolf gets his come-uppance!

This fable of good versus evil oozed traditional storytelling and was a delight from start to finish.

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