Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

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

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

Miss Teen Suffolk Emma Collingridge who volunteered at last year's Framlingham SausageFest with organisers Jenny Stockman and Richard Harrison.

A Suffolk town’s annual celebration of the Great British banger is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet.

Christina Johnston performs in Prague with Boni Pueri for the Czech President and Chinese television

A soprano singer from Suffolk has completed another of her globe-trotting adventures, performing for presidents and appreciative audiences in Asia, Europe and South America.

Matilda Howe, Rosalind Steele, Joel Sams and Christopher Buckley in We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea, by Arthur Ransome, Eastern Angles summer production which is being staged at The Hush House

A new Eastern Angles production has been an eye-opener for the cast in terms of how much freedom children used to have in the days of Arthur Ransome. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke visits them on set at The Hush House aircraft hanger at Bentwaters.

Nitro Circus Live at Foxhall Stadium.

Fans have been left upset and out of pocket after they claim they were turned away from a stunt show because of bad weather - only to find the event went ahead slightly later than scheduled.

Parade to mark the opening of the Southwold Arts Festival

The circus rolled up to a Suffolk seaside town for the launch of an annual festival featuring some ‘big top’ names from the world of art, literature, music and dance.

The Pigs Gone Wild trail covers key Ipswich landmarks

There were shrieks of delightthis morning as children scrambled over concrete plinths holding some exciting new additions to Ipswich town centre.

Will Young at Newmarket Nights - photos by Simon Traylen

Evergreen pop star Will Young showed he remains a hit with fans as crowds flocked to see him perform at Newmarket racecourse.

Turner's watercolour painting off Orfordness, dating from around 1827.

Art historian Eric Shanes, who is giving a talk at Southwold Arts Festival on Turner’s east coast tours, spoke to Sheena Grant.

Lionel Richie on stage in Colchester

“What the hell is this? You call this a summer evening? Welcome to Cold-chester!”

Crowds enjoyed the sunshine at Ipswich Music Day 2015 in Christchurch Park.
Stetsons are Cool got the crowd dancing.

From live music and open air cinemas to art, sport and stunt displays, Ipswich has a packed programme of family fun lined up this summer.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24