The Tale Of The Cockatrice
By Mumblecrust Theatre, The Blockhouse Theatre, The Warren, 2nd and 3rd June
This show is great! An unexpected discovery towards the end of the festival, and what a treasure from Mumblecrust Theatre returning for the second time to Brighton Fringe with this double award-winning show.
Billed as a children and youth show, it could equally have been promoted as a show for adults too, the subtle mix, of mime, puppetry, song, and comedy, brought this dark tale of the Cockatrice to life in a way suitable for all ages. Set in the little Hampshire village of Wherwell (which I once lived in incidentally), this local fable set deep in the vaults of an ancient priory, tracks the generations of villagers from the time a large glowing egg is laid to a hundred years once, once it cracks open and delivers a misshapen creature into the sleepy hamlet – the Cockatrice is born!
I took my young son to watch this with me, and as it was a ‘relaxed’ performance, this meant the lights were on and people could move about without worry if so wished. This made it a very inclusive play and meant I could really get my teeth into it, whilst my son asked endless loud questions about whether he was stronger than the beast or not!
I oved the use of the a mop head as a beautiful young maid, the accordion accompanied songs to move the story forward, the wooden spoon puppet nuns, and the amazingly constructed beast with the glowing eyes. Other things made us both laugh including the use of a woven bag and some feet to make a horror for the not so brave knight, as well as turning a lamp into a new character, very skilfully done.
With only two performers on stage throughout there’s a lot to do, but the actors seem really comfortable with their material and are very at home on the stage. We really enjoyed this fable about this mutant creature and also laughed often at the incidental comedy that came along with the play. Very much recommended!