Hertford Theatre, Hertford
1pm, 20 September 2015
When V sits through a show without asking for a drink or a snack once, it’s a very good sign.
Scamp Theatre’s adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Scarecrow’s Wedding is a really inventive re-telling that all of us enjoyed – the enthralled watching only interupted by giggles and not me rummaging in my bag for a jaffa cake!
Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are two scarecrows in love so they decide to get married and like a children’s fiction version of Don’t Tell the Bride, Harry sets off to search for those wedding day essentials that we all need – a dress of feathers, a bunch of flowers and a necklace made from shells. No mention of favours and chair covers of course – because they would obviously have caused a row!
However, in Harry’s absence the farmer replaces him with the smooth but dangerous Reginald Rake, who uses his French charm to schmooze Betty and try to persuade her he is the scarecrow for her. The suspense lies in whether Harry will make it back in time to stop Reginald ruining their special day?
The story is told with comedy, catchy simple songs and ingenious use of props – bells on a clothes-line represent cows, a back pack is the snail’s shell, black gloves are flapping crows and a green spacehopper becomes a toad – in fact there’s a LOT of props, enough to make any actor feel weak, but they cope with everything admirably.
The three actors play all the parts – two happy-go-lucky scarecrows and a very versatile farmer playing everything else, something he does with skill and panache, from the busy farmer to the hopelessly slow snail shell and various other animals to smarmy Reg.
It’s a lively and innovative show which is fascinating for all ages to watch – and like their production of Stickman before it – it’s simply quality theatre for kids.
I loved the bit with the cows especially when he took too long to get the rope out! I also like the songs.
Run time: 50 minutes with no interval.
Age range: Ages 3+
Other stuff: You can buy the book in the foyer.