Review: Wilde Creatures, at Vaudeville Theatre
Held as part of the Vaudeville’s Oscar Wilde season, engaging Victorian morality tale invites the audience to help a town decide who should be set in stone
21 December, 2017 — By Angela Cobbinah
Tom Jude in Wilde Creatures. Photo: Tall Stories
BASED on the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, Wilde Creatures brings a strong dose of Victorian morality to the stage in this enjoyable production by Tall Stories.
Using one of Wilde’s best-known tales, The Happy Prince, as a starting point, the plot hinges on the need for a new town statue. The pompous mayor believes it should be of him until his councillors protest and throw open the decision to the vote.
It is we, the audience, who must decide what qualities should be finally set in stone. It’s not that difficult a task because the other contenders have equally inflated views of themselves. When the right candidate steps forward, the drab town, in the manner of The Selfish Giant’s garden, begins to bloom.
A versatile and engaging cast of four double up as travelling musicians and the Wilde Creatures under scrutiny, with Tom Jude on violin, Steve McCourt on bass, Lauren Silver on clarinet and Matt Jopling on guitar.
Held as part of the Vaudeville’s Oscar Wilde season, the hour-long production would perhaps have been better suited to a smaller, more intimate stage, but nevertheless works well enough here.
There’s a chance for a bit of audience interaction and a small surprise package for every child as they leave the theatre to drive the final message of goodwill home.
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