Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Cast: Natalie Campbell, Simone Lewis, Harvey Robinson, Luca Rutherford.
Every show at this time of year is special, it the one that can bring families together, that good will is truly spread with and the one that children get their first taste of the uniqueness of drama to express emotion, the much used phrase magic of the theatre is not wrong when it comes to this special time of year, as each wide eyed child, each grinning parent could attest to in the Unity Theatre’s fabulous show for 2016, Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf.
Each year the show that the Unity highlight for the family always takes on a wonderful edge, it sits quite happily as one of the must go to events of the season and this year, it arguably became one of the finest ever put on inside its four walls as the music, the slight nod at the parent friendly joke, obviously and rightly going over the head of the younger audience, and the actors giving a truly magnificent and heroic performance all came together to make one remarkable Christmas show.
In terms of time Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf might be the shortest play to find yourself in this winter but that should not be seen as anything but a plus, it makes the play more friendly, more touching, there is absolutely no filler, no lines or words wasted anywhere within and it is one that can actually be held with careful hands, as if it was a precious commodity; that indeed is what it should be seen as.
The four actors on stage, Natalie Campbell, Simone Lewis, Harvey Robinson and Luca Rutherford play up to the crowd without ever going overboard and the structure of the performance is enhanced by the often overlooked back room team to whom really frame this play as something distinctive and full of fun. Kevin Dyer’s writing is sharp, wonderfully observed but one that is not afraid to go off the beaten track of where children’s stories normally go and with Patrick Dineen’s musical score adding much heart and beauty to the show, Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf is a howling success and the true meaning of Christmas theatre.
Ian D. Hall