Last night, as part of the ever popular Showzam! season, the world premier of Meet the Hogwallops took place at The Grand Theatre. The show has been promoted as family entertainment and it certainly provided this. If I had to sum the experience up in one word, it would be: different. A sprinkling of flour, a strewing of laundry, a birthday theme, family photo poses, a top secret box, a zimmer frame, some bananas and good old fashioned slapstick interspersed with circus skills would paint a clearer picture of the events of the evening.
The opening scene showed a stage festooned with bunting, which on closer inspection proved to be lines of family washing. This comedic theme ran throughout much of the performance. We were then introduced to a character making his own birthday cake and singing, “Happy Birthday to me”, all together now… Aaaah. Comedic elements were present with dough throwing and a large sprinkling of flour, which the frequently appearing ‘man with a broom’ somehow never managed to clean up.
Several circus skills were demonstrated including juggling, balance skills, and aerial acrobatics. The timing was perfect and the narrative was woven around everyday family life, albeit that of a completely wacky family. Humour was included when the clothes on the line, complete with giant clothes-pegs, were strewn around the stage thus enabling the performer to use the clothes line to perform her trapeze skills. A quirky touch was added to the show towards the end when a zimmer frame was introduced into the aerial performance.
The slapstick elements went down particularly well with the children in the audience, not just the very young ones either, but older children and early teens. The banana incident, caused great hilarity. I can’t say more or I’ll spoil the fun. Other quirky surprises are in store which I also won’t mention for the same reason. The show is around an hour long, so not so long that the younger ones get restless. It runs until Saturday, so prise the kids away from the games console and treat them to some good old fashioned family fun.
Meet the Hogwallops runs at The Grand Theatre until Saturday 22 February. Tickets are available via the website, by phone (01253 290190) or at the box office on Church Street.
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