The refresh has worked brilliantly well though. The stage set is a collection of wooden suitcases that secrete all the puppets and props that are need by the single puppeteer, Johnny, to tell the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a well-known traditional German fairy-tale which has been re-told and re-interpreted many a time.
And this was definitely story-telling at its best. Johnny has a wonderfully expressive, rosy-cheeked face which is perfect for his role - reminiscent, to oldies like me, of vintage Jackanory on TV. For this story-telling had all the props and characters that you would love to have at hand when reading to your children at bedtime, bringing the tale to life with voices and people and even a highly-cultured reading monkey. The suitcases became the baker's shop, the town hall, the Mayor's parlour and lot of ingenious sets of puppets were children, townspeople and of course, the Mayor and the Pied Piper. And the whole thing worked well with the music too, as it sounded exactly as though the Pied Piper puppet was playing his pipe.
In many ways it was a refreshingly traditional show with a range of glove and rod puppets, beautifully-crafted, simple and very effective. This was one of my favourite shows for a while and the children sitting on cushions on the floor were spell-bound - jumping back when the 'handful' of rats came squeaking towards them. For adults, it is a treat being absorbed back into the land of fairy-tales and childhood - go and give yourself a break, it's a lovely way to take an hour off. Shows are twice a day until 11th August 11am and 2.30pm and it's suitable for all ages from 4 upwards.
And I'll tell you about the rest of my day later on...