The Giant’s Loo Roll

Coventry Belgrade

****

IF you start with a loo roll you are within a wipe or so of a bum which puts you on a winner with a young audience where boldily functions are a banker when it comes to humour.

It is indubitable fact which has not been lost on Nicholas Allan who has given us The Magic Lavatory, The Queen's Knickers, Where Willy Went and Father Christmas Needs a Wee as well as the giant’s paper requirement among his other children’s books.

Not that it is all about bums in this lively tale from Talegate Theatre, with James Worthington and Rhiannon Moushall playing all the parts from the pinstriped paper factory owner, looking remarkably like Sir Les Patterson’s long lost cousin, to a by gum, ecky-thump farmer – complete withJames and Rhiannon singing sheep, a teacher and pupil, an artist and a tailor with a natty range of paper knickers.

The tale is simple; the town is dying. The paper mill has run out of paper and is closing down, the tailor’s shop is going bust because no one is working so can’t afford to buy and there is a bleak future unfolding until . . . a giant’s loo roll appears.

So what can you do with miles and miles of loo paper and that is the tale as the roll . . . rolls around town, saving businesses and the paper mill until finally, what is left, is returned to the giant who needs it to wipe his . . . and how the kids loved that.

Rhiannon Moushall and James Worthington

At times my five-year-old grandson, a seasoned theatregoer, was rolling with laughter at times, while his brother, on his first theatre visit, aged 10 months, was fascinated in wide eyed wonder by the whole thing.

The pair had plenty of audience participation from the very start, bringing four children on stage, as well as an unfortunate dad volunteered reluctantly; we had Rhiannon, as a French artist, running around the aisles with a large paint brush and paint pot, spraying the audience with water – something children love.

Best of all the inflatable giant loo roll, a truly huge affair was pushed into the audience to bounce around over heads creating lots of excitement.

Much was aimed at younger children, simple and daft, like teacher trying to catch out a naughty schoolgirl who was trying to throw a paper aeroplane, which children found hilarious, songs were simple and repetitive, easy for the audience to sing and clap along, while the story was easy to follow.

There were odd lines as well for parents including a lovely line about National curriculumisation which was so far above the children’s’ heads it might as well have been in space.

The show is fast moving with a good set and some rapid and colourful costume changes and ending on what we might call a bum note, is a guaranteed success with kids.

Roger Clarke

02-06-16 

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