We’ve just left one of my favourite places. The Little Angel Theatre in Islington is an intimate, friendly place that never fails to put on an excellent performance, whichever it is. An institution of excellence in puppetry since the 60’s, you can’t beat a visit to entertain both children and adults alike.
Today it was Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. Written by Jon Barton and directed by Jimmy Grimes, the Associate Pupptry Director for War Horse. A forty-five minute one-woman performance with a brand new take on the traditional children’s tale; what if the wolf wasn’t bad after all?
Themed around the idea of living together and loving each other and ‘never judge a book by its cover’, the narrator, a ‘little girl’ called Robyn played by the very talented Charlotte Croft, gives an alternative twist on the popular story.
In this version the wolf is sad, alone and lost in the woods, having fallen asleep and been left behind by his pack. Little Red Riding Hood isn’t sweet and good and neither is her grandma. Trying to trap the wolf to barbecue for tea, they cruelly hatch a plan to kill him under the pretence of helping him find his family.
A brilliantly strong and tireless performance using props from Robyn’s bedroom to bring all the characters to life as puppets. A comic edge, catchy tunes and an uplifting ending with a moral to the story that every child (and adult) should learn; never judge a book by its cover. The wolf may have sharp teeth and people might have told you that he’s bad but we need to learn not to have prejudice. Instead, let’s love one another! A great message, a stunning performance and a show that has something that will speak to everyone.