15 September 2010 Northings

Magic Spaghetti

By Virginia Radcliffe. A Licketyspit review.

IT is a lucky parent who has never had to endure the whims of a picky eater in the family. Some combination of needing to exert control and finding comfort in the familiar makes many children insist on sticking to a boring diet. If you know such a child, they would find themselves very much at home in the town of Plain. Here in the fictional land of Scotaly, where they wear kilts and speak like Italian waiters, the small-minded townsfolk regard anything that is not pasta, boil-in-the-bag rice or custard with suspicion. Even something as straight-forward as sugo sauce Ð nothing but garlic, tomatoes and basil Ð is too fancy for their conservative tastes.


12 September 2009 Northings

Hare and Tortoise

A Licketyspit review

THE standard way to tell Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare is as a battle between right and wrong. We root for the tortoise because he is slow but well meaning, whereas the hare is all rampant ego and selfishness. It's a crazy idea that the tortoise could beat the hare in a race, but it appeals to our love of the underdog and our nervousness about societyÕs high-hitters getting carried away with themselves.

26 February 2008 Northings

Heelie Go Leerie

By Virginia Radcliffe. Licketyspit review.

IN shows such as Molly Whuppie, Wee Witches and Green Whale, Licketyspit has quickly earned a reputation as one of Scotland's most polished children's theatre companies. Its work is typically playful, athletic and imaginative. Those qualities are all present in its latest production, Heelie-go-leerie (Head Over Heels), a playground fantasy for a broad age range from three-and-up, but they are undermined by a script that jumps about so much it's like you're watching edited highlights of half-a-dozen plays.

22 December 2007 Northings

Green Whale

By Virginia Radcliffe. Licketyspit review.

OUR relationship with the natural world is a confused one. If we heard, for example, that there was a green whale spraying majestic plumes of water in the Atlantic, would we, like Johnny Austin's sailor in Virginia Radcliffe's children's play, dream of catching it and making a million from the carcass? Or would we, like Itxaso Moreno's character, Baletxo, think of it as a thing of beauty that could offer sanctuary and a means to escape?

March 2006 Northings

Molly Whuppie

By Virginia Radcliffe. Licketyspit review.

YOU can tell this is a show that has been nurtured and loved. Revived by popular acclaim with an enhanced musical score, it is a children's show rich in wit and invention, barely a line going past without some colourful bit of business or visual gag. If it sometimes takes longer than it needs to tell a simple fable, the young audience (it's pitched at the under-sevens, but my nine-year-old loved it) are more than willing to take the journey.

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