The Borrowers Review Tobacco Factory Theatres:
What a tricky story to adapt for stage and how delightfully done. The Borrowers at Tobacco Factory Theatres, is the story adapted by Bea Roberts this Christmas for the theatre’s highly anticipated seasonal show. Don’t mistake this as a production for just children. This intelligent and engaging piece of theatre is perfect for families as well as adults.
There’s no gimmicks and no special effects. This is fine ensemble storytelling creating both the big world and small world with clever cuts, inventive use of props and great acting.
Simon Armstrong is Eddie. He takes the audience back through his childhood encounters with The Borrowers in a series of flashbacks. Sent to live in Bristol with his wonderfully awful aunt Mrs Driver, played by the wonderfully brilliant Lucy Tuck, scenes flit between the giant Human Beans and tiny Borrowers to both dramatic and comedic effect.
It must have been tempting to create a clever set for such a show, but Rosanna Vize has wisely kept things simple. Ropes and monkey bars allow the actors to use circus skills to create their intimate underground space or cold lofty living room.
Actors and musicians rotate between characters. Craig Edwards is the nervous Pod, Peta Maurice is the adventurous and chair-loving Homily, Ellie Showering a very funny pest exterminator, Jessica Hayles is Arrietty the Borrower who learns to be big and David Ridley is the Young Eddie, who learns to stand up to his awful aunt.
Lessons are learnt, even by the ‘baddie’, but forgiveness is also a powerful message making this a real feel-good show.
I think the moment I watched three actors try to make their way across the stage in a giant packet of Walkers Crisps was the moment The Borrowers won Christmas theatre in Bristol.
This morning, my eight-year-old was unusually unphased by the sound of mice scratching their way between the plasterboard walls separating neighbours in our block of flats. Apparently, now it’s just tiny people living in the walls, though I drew the line at half a pain au chocolat being stuffed behind the kitchen units for Homily.
The Borrowers is at Tobacco Factory Theatres until Sunday 20 January 2019.
For more information or to book, visit: https://www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com/
BSL Interpreted Performance – Friday 14 December 7.30pm
Relaxed Performance – Wednesday 09 January at 6pm and Thursday 10 January 2019 at 1pm