Town Mouse

Go Jane!

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

AN en­thu­si­as­tic round of ticket pur­chases some months ago—when 2017 seemed a dis­tant prospect—yielded two hugely en­joy­able the­atri­cal out­ings this week. The Mad Hat­ter’s Tea Party at the Round­house was my first ex­pe­ri­ence of hip-hop the­atre. As the lights dimmed, there was a pub­lic an­nounce­ment that set the tone, ask­ing the au­di­ence to turn off their mo­bile phones, but make as much noise as pos­si­ble.

The plot—in­debted for its char­ac­ters to Alice’s Ad­ven­tures in Won­der­land—was pedes­trian, but it gave an ex­cuse for an elec­tri­fy­ing dance per­for­mance. The au­di­ence clapped its way through many of the num­bers and we quickly dis­cov­ered the real name of the dancer play­ing the Queen of Hearts be­cause a nearby friend of hers en­dear­ingly roared ‘Go Jane!’ when­ever she took cen­tre stage.

Just three days pre­vi­ously, as a birth­day treat, we had taken the chil­dren to The Lit­tle Match Girl in the can­dlelit in­ti­macy of the Sam Wana­maker The­atre. The pro­duc­tion was cap­ti­vat­ing, with won­der­ful mu­sic and a strik­ingly bril­liant ver­si­fied script. It’s a good thing that it was so en­gag­ing, be­cause one child jumped on my lap to see the stage pretty much from the start of the per­for­mance. Nearly two hours later, I needed ev­ery dis­trac­tion to for­get the dis­com­fi­ture. JG

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