Good children’s theatre should appeal to the inner kid in every adult as well as every actual child. It’s doubtful whether this could be said of BonBon, which bizarrely played out for only 30 minutes, and even then ran out of steam beforehand.
A tale about the magic of eating sweeties, but this production is sadly only half-baked.
The flyer describes the show as ‘bursting with comedy, storytelling, dances, and games’. The story is all too familiar: a young girl, Scarlette (Harriet Collings) is cruelly mistreated by her uglier older sister, Fuschia (Glynn Jones). Scarlette escapes from her wicked sister into the woods by following a trail of sweets; while there she is determined to locate the whereabouts of her errant grandmother (Gabriella Rankin). The story is tired already but David Holme as the villainous Rusty the Fox injected a little life into proceedings and tried very hard to interact with the children on the front row – pretty successfully.
Sweets were doled out throughout but there was only one game as such and that was rather dull: eating strawberry laces with no hands as quickly as possible. This could have been charmingly naïve and sweet, but instead it smacked a little of desperation – as did all this sweet-gifting. I quite like the absence of political correctness that meant eating sweets granted you wishes by bringing out Cherry the fairy (Rankin, again). Essentially bribing kids with the idea that sweets are good. Try telling this to your teachers at school, kids. Bon chance.
As for dances, being coerced into jumping up and down on the spot on a Sunday morning to S Club 7’s ‘Reach For The Stars’ was not seen by anyone as a good time. Looking around even the children seemed to feel similarly. The costumes were all passable, small-town Panto affairs, nothing to get excited about.
As I said, the show only ran for half an hour, not the 50 minutes stated. A final ‘game’ had Rusty blowing up balloons for the children, but unfortunately he didn’t have enough, so the children had to share – which they did, very good-naturedly. A tale about the magic of eating sweeties, but this production is sadly only half-baked.