Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales immerses children and parents alike into a world of wonder. Set inside the towering Underbelly tent this pleasingly mature and intelligent childrens show explored a variety of folk tales. The stage was elegantly sparse with a few rudimentary features. Three performers clad in tweed jackets, smart waistcoats and fedora hats emerged on stage carrying suitcases stuffed with props which they stacked about the stage. These items were then slowly brought to life as the cast acted out a series of stories that often featured animals and resembled simplistic fables. These stories were largely delivered in verse and used repetition.
They frolicked from these story-telling elements into sections of mime which made the re-setting and movement of the props become less of a chore and as much a part of the show as the rest. They had an impressive variety of presentation styles including flashing torches, silhouettes and puppetry.
The use of music throughout was impressive: as well as numerous original compositions aided by basic dancing, two of the actors are clearly accomplished musicians themselves, whipping out a clarinet and accordion to supplement these interludes.
The most impressive feature of the entire production is that it was never patronising, there were no lazy jibes or slapstick moments. A children’s show need not be juvenile to be enjoyable and Tiddler and the rest of the Terrific Tales made for a real treat.