When a Julia Donaldson book is adapted for the fringe, there’s no lack of eager audience, as her fans are only small in stature, not in numbers. And the Snail and the Whale is a particularly sweet story, telling the tale of an unusual friendship.
The company did a wonderful job with the story. I think all the original Donaldson text was there, but woven around it was a second story; that of a young girl whose navy father was terribly missed when away, and who has to come to terms with not being able to do some of the things she’d like to until she’s older.
In the theatre, the older, wiser version of the nameless girl is playing her viola as the audience file in. As the lights go down, she explains the set up, narrating parts of the story, and briefly playing a role. This telling adds even more fun to the original text, from the furniture whale, to the penguin dance, before the boat race. It ends with a happy singalong. For those keen to be near the front, I should say – beware the water pistols!
Reviewed by Gill Smith
To 26th August
15:00 to 15:45