Christmas is the season of pantos, however there are a few theatrical company’s offering an alternative and Red Rose Chain are one of them with their delightful Tales of Mr Tod.
Red Rose writer and director, Joanna Carrick, takes this Beatrix Potter story that was first published in 1912 and brings it slap bang up to date, thus engaging audiences well over one hundred years later.
The action starts in a loft as two children explore what has been left there by previous occupants of their new home. Janie (Evangeline Dickson) is convinced she has seen something, maybe a ghost, in the loft and so enlists the support of her brother Ben (Jack Heydon) to explore.
Despite teasing frothier brother it soon appears that Janie was correct and there is a someone lurking in the shadows, the ghost of Beatrix Potter, (Emily Jane Kerr).
Beatrix introduces the pair to a host of characters from her book, and we are then taken into the magical world of Mr Tod.
The three actors play a variety of characters and there’s engagement with the audience too. This is not just a story the the very young, indeed on the Saturday afternoon that I visited the Avenue Theatre there were far more senior members watching and enjoying as much as the children.
Running at just under two hours, with an interval it’s not too long for very tiny children. If you are looking for something a little different Mr Tod is certainly worth a look. Great fun, superbly performed as you’d expect from Red Rose and you will come away with a smile on your face.
The Tale of Mr Tod is at the Avenue Theatre until 31st December, box office 01473 603388 or visit www.redrosechain.com.
Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine