Looby Loo - No Strings Attached at The New Apollo, The Florence Arms, Southsea

Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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‘The reviewers didn’t understand us, saying we always gave wooden performances,’ said indignant puppet Looby Loo to Andy Pandy.

But 50 years on, their strings ‘loved’ off by all the children they had entertained over the years, they were now adults and out of work actors.

Looby Loo – No Strings Attached is an original play by Julian Rimmer. It’s a delightful bittersweet comedy reflecting life’s ups and downs and the deep bonds of friendship. Andy Pandy, Looby Loo, and Teddy have got back with Auntie to fight back and make a show for digital TV.

Performed in The Florence Arms intimate and cosy restaurant, before the interval the play becomes a play within a play.

As the cast rehearse their new show, we become their ‘kiddy audience’, and nod and interact with the puppets. Just magical.

Looby Loo (Lizzie Elvin), Teddy (Tim Lowe), Andy Pandy (Christopher Marlowe), and Auntie (Eddi Hill), transport us back to black and white TV and ‘Watch with Mother’. The actors performed their parts so convincingly you forgot they were playing puppets.

A rollercoaster of laughter and tears, with a twist in the tale.

Very enjoyable.