‘The Magic Porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales’ is the latest offering from talented puppetmaster Andy Lawrence and the popular Potton-based Theatre of Widdershins.
Served up as a three-course fairytale feast for children, the stories comprise a starter – ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’ with Granny Grinpickle and Poj the flying dog; a main course – ‘Stone Soup’ about a beggar who tricks the tyrannical chef Wafflesweat and gets him to mend his ways; and a dessert – the well-known ‘Gingerbread Man’ which is well seasoned with Widdershins’ unique twist of storytelling and audience participation.
Andy makes all the puppets himself which are a delight and bursting with character. He also builds all the props and is particularly adept at adapting them for each tale, for example, a porridge oats box magically turns into a shop, and a pile of stones becomes a person. Refreshingly, children are encouraged to use their own imaginations.
I took my six-year-old grandson Alfie to see the Christmas show at St Mary’s Church Hall in Potton and he was spellbound throughout, giving it a firm thumbs-up at the end. Cushions placed on the floor in front ensure that little ones get a great view, there are refreshments available and the opportunity to buy badges and posters at the end.
A national travelling show that also goes into schools, the Theatre of Widdershins is next performing on January 17, 2015 in Canterbury but will be at Arbury Community Hall in Cambridge on February 14. The show will also go to the Edinburgh Fringe for 2015.
For more details please visit www.widdershins.co.uk.