If you hadn’t read up on the background of Pif Paf Theatre’s one-man show it is altogether possible that some things would go over your head.
The show is described as a ‘thoroughly researched and beautifully fantastical exploration’ dealing with climate change, seed gene patenting, monocultures and the extinction of our wildlife.
While there is no doubting this, if you asked my four-year-old twins what it was about, they would tell you it’s a man living in a shed on wheels with a parrot as his only friend,trying to save the last acorn from increasingly large slugs.
Appearing as part of the Portsmouth Festivities, this ingenious show does indeed work on several levels, and is guaranteed to make children and adults alike laugh.
And given its location on the banks of Southsea Castle, those who came to see the show are joined by those intrigued to see what on Earth is emerging from the set – a battered-looking mobile shed which proves to house any number of props and devices.
The main character, Wilford, played by the show’s co-creator Pete Gunson, is an affably gruff figure, who is our guide in this world.
He is trying to grow an oak tree from the world’s last remaining acorn, but, with the help from the youngsters watching, he must be ever-vigilant from slugs which want to eat it.
Along the way there’s plenty of music and audience interaction, an explosion or two and a light dousing for some at the front, all culminating in a battle to the death with a 10ft-tall slug.
There is enough in here to be thought-provoking for the adults, while it will probably be those giant slugs that linger in the minds of the younger audience members.
The show will be appearing at festival around the UK for the rest of the year. If you’ve got young children, take them, they’ll be enthralled, and the parents won’t mind either.