Princess Taz and the Fearsome Forest

The word ‘rap-dragon’ might simultaneously spark intrigue and a sense of unease, but fear not. Though we are being to the Fearsome Forest, things are not quite as frightful as you might think. In fact, they’re rather great.

An enjoyable show to be digested after lunch, Princess Taz will not fail to entertain.

Princess Taz and the Fearsome Forest follows the story of Princess Taz, an unfortunately average girl born in a family of ‘Perfects’. Desperate to find her own talents in life, she escapes the palace with the French rapdragon Eehore. A wrong turn leads to her becoming involved in a campaign to prevent the Fearsome Forest from being knocked down to make way for a high speed croquet pitch.

Written and devised by Elf Lyons and Callum Brodie, Lyons and co-performer Harry Benfield display virtuosic story-telling skills combined with excellent puppetry to take the audience through the narrative. The right balance of audience interaction is found almost immediately. Adults and children are presented with items on their way into the auditorium, with adults being given small scripts to be read out on cue during the play and the children being provided with a variety of masks and hats. This reviewer ended up being a talking tree and a scripted heckler! A lot of the children seemed to be provided with animal masks that didn’t seem to lead to anything, but that aside, the persistent interaction throughout the short piece kept the children engaged. Even the French rapping.

Less than ideal spaces are part of the package with a free show, but both performers adapted well to the echoey nature of the room. Any problems with sight-lines were swiftly resolved by the children themselves simply sitting themselves down on the floor in the middle of the aisle. The puppets for Taz and Eehore were both marvellous, even if Taz was a little on the small side. This was admittedly the point as she was meant to be small but even so she was still a little too small for people at the back.

An enjoyable show to be digested after lunch, Princess Taz will not fail to entertain.

Reviews by James Beagon

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Join ramshackle clowns, Elf and Harry on their fantastical retelling of the life and adventures of the legendary punk Princess Taz and her pet rapdragon Eehore. Follow their quest to save the Fearsome Forest from being knocked down to make way for a new high speed croquet pitch in the Perfectly Perfect Kingdom! Warning: the show includes riddles, ridiculous accents, silly songs, puppetry, live forests, rap music, cartoons and village people. Conceptualised by Elf Lyons. Written and devised by Elf Lyons and Callum Brodie. Performed by Elf Lyons and Harry Benfield. Produced by Oddflock.

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