Posted on behalf of Kate - Mumsnet Local Editor, Kingston
Truth be told, I am not in the least familiar with Lewis Carroll's poem, now converted into a 70 minute long comedy caper for family audiences. It's currently showing at the Rose Theatre Kingston (until Saturday, 28 October). Catch it while you can - you're in for madcap humour, panto-style pranks and stunts, imaginatively and riotously colourful stage sets, with catchy tunes and short scenes carrying the audience along to the heart-warming, 'light-bulb' moment denouement.
The story charts two journeys (one physical and one spiritual): a quest by father and son (and a typically quirky cast of supporting characters, including a beaver with a penchant for crochet!), ostensibly in search of the ever elusive Snark, and an underlying tale of a money/fame/power obsessed, adventure funding dad in the face with adversity waking up to what really matters in life - his family.
In true Lewis Carroll style, this allegorical adventure takes in mayhem, mishaps, a quest, a cast of odd-ball characters (including a murderous chef with designs on anything 'meaty'), all sorts of fantasmagorical creatures (the Jub Jub bird, the elusive Snark and the Bandersnatch), against the background of a wilful child's personal quest.
The ensemble of just five actors did a fantastic job of populating the show with a cast of unforgettable, larger than life characters who propelled the plot along with no time for wandering attention! The audience, adults and children alike, was transfixed by the slapstick turns, short scenes and songs aplenty.
The Hunting of the Snark is a rollicking, riveting and riotous story, given a 21st Century production make-over with catchy tunes, contemporary cultural references (Justin Bieber, Benedict Cumberbatch and the Gruffalo to name but three), creative and colourful interpretation and energetic performances. It's bold, brash and full of bravura; an epic adventure like no other you'll experience this half-term. To say more would be to give away too much of its uniqueness. It really does have to be seen to be believed and enjoyed!