Goldilocks and The Three Bears at Jackson's Lane
PUBLISHED: 10:55 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 19 November 2019
Ahead of their latest residency at the Archway venue, Ivan Stott from Hiccup Theatre company explains what makes a good children's show
Jackson's Lane regulars can celebrate the return of Hiccup Theatre company this Christmas with another of their playful adaptations of children's classics.
After The Gingerbread Man and Peter Pan spin-off Underneath A Magical Moon, they bring Goldilocks and The Three Bears to the Archway venue . Suitable for ages 3+, it is packed with catchy original songs, witty storytelling and puppetry, performed by a trio of talented actor-musicians.
Ivan Stott co-founded the company with Sarah Brigham a decade ago over a "shared passion for making theatre for children and families." Their first show The Owl and The Pussy Cat was a runaway success. "We didn't think we were giving birth to a company but it went really well," he says.
They have also reworked Little Red Riding Hood and Stott comments: "I love turning these classic children's tales on their head, or trying to do something interesting without compromising them. There's so much depth and good stuff to mine in these stories. We want to make versions that are relevant for families today.
"With Goldilocks, all the recognisable bits are there, but hopefully it will surprise and delight as well."
They don't shy away from the fact that Goldilocks is a naughty girl, who wrecks the bears' home.
"She comes crashing into their world, breaks into their house, smashes chairs and eats their food. She's a very naughty little girl but she's also quite likeable and hilarious with a good heart.
"She learns a great deal during the story. There are messages, but they are not hammered home in a brutal way."
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Far from being scary, Mummy and Daddy bear with their toddler son - played by a puppet - are a model family of eco-warriors who have built their home from recycled materials. (The set itself is salvaged and fully recyclable)
Goldilocks arrives clutching her beloved teddy. "She talks to her teddy and you realise she's quite a lonely little girl with no real friends. What she really wants is someone to play with."
After a comedy chase and a stand-off between baby bear and Goldilocks, there's a swapping of toys and a pledge to come to tea - porridge naturally. It all ends with a song about making everything 'just right'.
"They learn from each other, baby bear learns about being a friend to someone who is different, they both learn to share and accept and be open."
Stott says the best kids theatre isn't patronising but is "honest and truthful."
"While not shying away from the darker things, we find ways to tell those bits in an accessible way that won't upset the children.
"It's a play, it's supposed to be playful. Children get incredible CGI on screens, but what's exciting about theatre is you can do something with three actors, a minimal set and incredible storytelling that's as memorable and magical as all those whizzes and bangs that have millions spent on them. If it comes from a place of real imagination it can be just as exciting."
Hiccup is also dedicated to making sure adults come away having enjoyed themselves "so it's a shared experience."
Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs from November 30 until December 24.