Muppet-like musical for adults is a blast

Grimm's Fairy Tales for Young and Old. Hal Darling as The Wolf, Emily Wells as Little Red Riding Hood. Photo by Paul Inskip

REVIEW: Grimm’s Tales For Young and Old by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre

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PARENTS – don’t be fooled. This show, peopled with Muppet-like characters – is strictly a no-child zone.

But for adults it’s a complete blast. The show’s conceit – the majority of the characters are puppets, with their operators clearly on view – starts almost as a distraction, but before long the strange symbiosis of puppet and operator becomes the norm, perfectly acceptable and perfectly real.

Because while this show is ostensibly a riotously funny, spikey, feisty Broadway musical, surprisingly it also has a lot to say about the human condition – about the problems people face, about their hopes, their wishes, their loves – and all through these puppet characters.

It’s about as ensemble a piece as you’re likely to find. Each and every performer carries this show on their shoulders and each and every one of them is worthy of mention.

Adam Pettigrew and Chris Thatcher’s strong, light tenor voices give life to (amongst others) our hero, Princeton, and to the hilariously sex-obsessed Trekkie Monster. As Kate Monster, The scene between Princeton and his romantic interest, Kate, at the end of their first date is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a theatre. So leave the children at home and get yourself to the Mayflower. I suspect you won’t regret it.

Until 16 April.

JAMES GEORGE