Peter Rabbit and Other Tales: Review

First written about over a hundred years ago, Peter Rabbit and his friends live in a wondrous forest and are forever getting into no good. This original adaptation tells of the different stories which take place in the books and brings them together in one show. As a promenade piece, it takes the audience on a trip around the forest and into the homes and lives of the characters by setting each area of the stage up with different decorations to make it seem as though you really are in a forest full of wonder.

On the 20th of June the LUTG offshoots held a preview of the show they will be taking to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in august and gave a lucky few the chance to see the work in progress version of the play. I was able to see the beginning of the full production and experience the world they are creating. Though not yet totally off-script, I was able to see the potential this play has; the characters were engaging with the audience and including them in the story. By talking directly to the audience and encouraging them to travel and explore the set alongside the characters, the audience is sucked into the world they have created. The plot of this piece is very straightforward as you are being told the tales taken from the books from each characters point of view. This gives the audience a unique perspective, unlike many other plays, as they are forced to run, hide and explore with each tale and so gets to almost relive these stories for themselves. In this way, the audience is treated like another creature from the forest and so the whole experience can be fun, exciting and totally enjoyable throughout.

Whilst Peter Rabbit is clearly a main character in these tales, each of the characters gets their own chance to tell a story and so more tales can be explored, which gives the other characters a chance to shine.  Having seen the preview show it is clear that this ensemble will be able to put on a spectacular show, with LUTG members Michael Dodds, Molly Hirst and Charlotte Davey set to give very memorable performances. Much credit however has to be given to the director, Callum Berridge, as the sequencing of the stories and the movement throughout the set is fluid and gives an extra dimension to the story, as the audience journeys throughout the set. With everything I have seen at the preview show, it is clear that the LUTG offshoots are on track to give a wonderful performance and create and amazing show!

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