Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Review: The Tinder Box, by Julian Harries and Pat Whymark, Common Ground Theatre Company, Seckford Theatre until December 20 and on tour until January 10 2015

17:23 22 December 2014

The Tinder Box, adapted by Julian Harries & Pat Whymark, Common Ground theatre company's Christmas Show featuring Charles Davies, Lorna Garside and Julian Harries

The Tinder Box, adapted by Julian Harries & Pat Whymark, Common Ground theatre company's Christmas Show featuring Charles Davies, Lorna Garside and Julian Harries

© Mike Kwasniak Photography 2014

Those magicians of Christmas entertainment Julian Harries and Pat Whymark, not content with writing and directing a winning Eastern Angles Christmas show this year, have decided to create a second sensational seasonal treat The Tinder Box for their own theatre company Common Ground.

The Tinder Box, adapted by Julian Harries & Pat Whymark, Common Ground theatre company's Christmas Show featuring Charles Davies, Tracy Elster, Lorna Garside and Julian HarriesThe Tinder Box, adapted by Julian Harries & Pat Whymark, Common Ground theatre company's Christmas Show featuring Charles Davies, Tracy Elster, Lorna Garside and Julian Harries

Loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson story, the original plot provides the pair with a springboard for their own brand of inspired silliness and creative madness.

It’s a cracking show which makes a virtue of the small scale production by having the four cast members play multiple roles and filling other key parts with a menagerie of canine puppets. If you loved Mrs Giblets in The Master of Mayhem several years ago then this is the show for you.

Not to be upstaged by a puppet, one of Harries’ brilliant characters is a French poodle called Jean-Paul Gaultier which comes with a bouffant wig, illuminated glasses and a gloriously bizarre French accent.

But, this is not a one man show. Pat Whymark, as director keeps the action zipping along, while as musician and composer supplies some of her distinctively catchy comic songs which not only add to the silliness but also inform the plot.

The Tinder Box, adapted by Julian Harries & Pat Whymark, Common Ground theatre company's Christmas Show featuring Lorna GarsideThe Tinder Box, adapted by Julian Harries & Pat Whymark, Common Ground theatre company's Christmas Show featuring Lorna Garside

The story follows the fortunes of a penniless soldier who is persuaded by a witch in the wood to fetch bags of gold and a Tinder Box from inside a giant hollow tree. As you would expect no good comes of all this. Along the way we meet a zombie princess, a female executioner, a widowed innkeeper and a regal pair who are definitely on their uppers.

Charles Davies makes a narcissistically dim soldier and provides the link with the audience. Tracey Elster is terrific as the Witch, the Queen and the duplicitous innkeeper and Lorna Garside, fast becoming a Common Ground regular, is hugely entertaining as the zombie princess, the blood-thirsty royal executioner and Little Hans who has a passion for sausage.

As with any Harries and Whymark show the madness works because everyone shares the same offbeat sense of humour and it’s a genuine team effort.

If you fancy seeing something other than a panto this Christmas, catch The Tinder Box in Walton, near Felixstowe, Aldeburgh, or New Wolsey Studio, you won’t be disappointed.

Andrew Clarke

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Strictly Come Dancing officially started at the weekend, with Daisy Lowe now at the top of the leaderboard and Ed Balls at the bottom.

It’s been nearly 50 years since women workers at Ford’s Dagenham plant went on strike for equal rights, writes Wayne Savage, who met two of them as a new production of Made In Dagenham comes to the New Wolsey.

Suffolk’s finest talent had a date at the Ipswich Regent on Saturday night.

PJ Proby interviewed

Sunday, September 25, 2016

PJ Proby has a refreshingly forthright view about how his life has changed since the heady days of the 1960, when he was one of the biggest - and most notorious - names in pop music.

This palace was more ‘bling’ than Versailles. So why don’t we all know about it?

Exclusive: Gary Numan interviewed

Friday, September 23, 2016

Gary Numan, the Godfather of electronic music, plays at the LCR in Norwich tonight. Here he talks about the highs and lows of his life and career with our entertainment reporter Wayne Savage.

It’s back tonight – celebrities up to their eyeballs in spray tan and glitter as far as the eye can see.

Based on the highly successful British film, which charted the struggle women workers had for equal pay, this colourful musical tackles some thought-provoking subjects with a mixture of passion, insight and a justifiable sense of indignation.

Acclaimed musical Made in Dagenham opens at The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich today.

This weekend will see a jaw-dropping range of food and drink producers set out their stalls for one of Suffolk’s biggest events.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24