by Sarah Cope
My daughter and I are always keen to review children’s shows at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington. An intimate space, meaning that kids are close to the action, means that those hard to please seat-shufflers are more likely to engage with the production. Indeed, we managed to get front row seats and such was the physically energetic nature of the show that we felt a little too close at some points!
Four actors take the parts of the mice, the guitar-playing hedgehog, the rapping squirrel (my personal favourite), the wise rabbit and the delusional mole, who falls in love with the moon and tries to bring it down from the sky to play with. As you do.
My almost-six-year-old was I think a little perturbed by the physicality of the play, and told me she didn’t like the mole character, though couldn’t specify why. I had a look around and she wasn’t the only child who was nestling into her parent for comfort, so it could be that the cast need to tone down the squealing and cart-wheeling just a notch.
Audience participation was encouraged from the start, although the children weren’t very forthcoming. They may have been overwhelmed by the high-octane antics, although the cast tried in earnest to engage them.
The show’s publicity boasts that the songs are very catchy, and this is indeed true. Why else could I be later found impersonating a squirrel, scampering up York Way, singing “It’s so beautiful and so brii-iight!”, much to my daughter’s embarrassment?
I did have more to say about this play but unfortunately the squirrel squirted the audience with a huge water gun and the ink of my notes ran somewhat. Take your waterproofs. And don’t sit too near the front!
Bringing Down the Moon, suitable for age 3 and over, is at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington until January 2.