Star rating: *****
Emily Brown and the Thing, from the pen of popular author Cressida Cowell, has landed at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Patrick Studio and it’s a deliciously glorious theatrical experience for children and grown ups alike.
With a set which is deceptive – appearing to look like a basic backdrop until the action begins and the multi-purposes become evident and awe-inspiring to watch. It’s an innovative integral part of the story and integrates smoothly and seamlessly.
Tall Stories have produced this riveting incarnation of the book and their cast are incredible. Sophie Alice is highly believable and engaging in the title role of Emily Brown and her energy is almost infectious. She is joined on her adventures by Stanley the grey rabbit and when he’s not in miniature puppet form, he’s played by Jordan Turner – notably, Turner is also the puppeteer responsible for Stanley the puppet and his skill is extraordinary. The cast of three is completed by Sam Buitekant who plays the Thing (as puppeteer and actor, depending on the scene) as well as a witch who’s contemplating giving up spells, a lonely polar bear and a troll who’s taken a fancy to the Thing’s cuddly. Buitekant’s range of different voices and accents is one of the many highlights of an exceptional show.
You don’t need to have read the book to be able to immerse yourself in the adventures that Emily Brown and Stanley take as they set off on a number of quests to silence the Thing’s grumblings. After all, they can’t get to sleep unless it’s really quiet, can they?
Catch this insightful masterpiece while you can, it’s a superb introduction to theatre for young audience members and encompasses all the best elements of live theatre in one 55 minute long show with no interval.
Book your tickets here, the show runs in Birmingham until 6 January 2019: https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/tall-stories-emily-brown-and-the-thing/