Welcome to the land of Tillys fantastical tails, I mean tales, where the line between fable and fact is not clear and brightly coloured clowns spring into song or into a story to become multiple characters, and tell multiple truths.
This was a near perfect production whose professionalism went way beyond most fringe shows. Beautifully crafted from every angle - from the eloquence of the sing-song script, to the score of the casts gypsy-swing band which would explode into song between scenes and then dispel once again - no stone was left unturned; no line ill-delivered, no harmony discordant. The Tim-Burton-meets-Roald-Dahl style puppets and masks were most impressive and I was also struck by the ingenious use of props and set, which included the metamorphoses of a horse-drawn carriage and such tricks as creating a swarm of bees using long thrashing sticks and the sound of kazoos. These clever quirks of the set and costume were truly magical and drew you right into the plays fantastical fairytales. Credit must also be paid to a vivacious 5-strong cast who brought the scenes and images to life with such energy and enthusiasm, using narration and song with a cartoon-like physicality which was always perfectly executed, and absolutely in sync with one another; not an easy thing to do and a sign of how well polished and rehearsed this piece was.
There were a few moments where the pace dropped between scenes and one or two of the stories felt a little drawn out and predictable, however, this is a minor criticism, and overall, from Toms Tum who ate his Mum, to Smelly Mingus Fungus; each and every inventive and merciless tale of its damned subject was gorgeously constructed and a miniature masterpiece in itself.