Thursday, 07 July 2022

Not such a small world, is it?

The Snail and the Whale | Theatre Royal, Windsor | Monday, August 13

IN a charming adaptation of one of Julia Donaldson’s more nautical tales, the crux of the story of The Snail and the Whale is wrapped up in a neat storytelling device.

In order to maintain his affectionate relationship with his daughter while he is away at sea in the Royal Navy, a girl’s father records stories for her to listen to back at home.

Dad tells her, “A good story can take you all around the world, without even leaving your room,” and this was amply illustrated through the use of clever and intricate stage props, including snail back-packs and whale furniture.

With the daughter’s adult self playing viola accompaniment and aiding the narration, the trio on stage kept the young audience listening with rapt attention and giggling or joining in.

Hannah Miller as the daughter brought infectious enthusiasm, Tim Hibberd as the dad brought out the empathy of the parents in the audience and Rachel Benson as the narrator and viola player provided a jaunty musical backdrop throughout with some clever loops.

The enchanting tale of a tiny creature hitchhiking on the adventures of a much larger beast to see the world was served well with the analogy of a nurturing parent and a bright-eyed child who writes “Lift wanted around the world” on her bedroom window.

This was a treat designed to encourage children’s imagination and let them cast their minds away.

Natalie Aldred

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