Review: Terry Jones Fairy Tales ****
Published date: 20 March 2009
By Dan Chaik
The programme states that the show is for ages four to ten, so you feel a little self conscious going into a performance such as this without a child in tow.
Fortunately the programme also tells you that the stories which provide the inspiration for the show are from Terry Jones, he of Monty Python fame.
Perhaps a childlike view of the world, in the sense that the Pythons were childlike, is all that is actually needed to enjoy this production from touring puppet theatre company DNA Puppetry?
Not really. It turns out that anyone with an imagination will enjoy this gentle, subversive, funny show.
Taking the 1981 book Fairy Tales by Jones as a basis, the puppeteer and artistic director of DNA Adam Bennett creates an enchanting little show.
Bennett is the man, literally, behind the puppet Thurtinkle, who tells the sometimes dark and constantly amusing stories from Jones’s book.
While Thurtinkle is an impressive puppet and an amusing character, presenter Shakera Louise Ahad, pictured, provides a vital link between the puppet and the audience.
Clearly thinking on her feet in a show that can only be as rehearsed as far as an audience of young children will allow, she is an engaging presence who helps the audience connect with the puppet and the stories he tells. It is impressive feat to act, tell stories, and essentially carry out crowd control all at once, but she carries it off with wit.
A show that was enjoyed by both the children and the parents in the audience, it is heartening to think this kind of theatre is still being created and taken around the country.