A Tiger’s Tale – Review – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
By @Steve Crabtree, February 2018
A Tiger’s Tale is a marvellous hour-long story, aimed at children between four and eleven years old.
The production involves three actors from the M6 Theatre company who regularly step out of their act to become the storytellers; and their cart – which forms the centre point of a basic set.
“An ordinary story”
And today, they pounce on to the Huddersfield stage to tell an ordinary story about Ma, Pa and Titch. An ordinary family, with an ordinary life.
Pa (Owen Gaynor) is a window cleaner who’s not very good at cleaning windows, but is great on a ladder. His balancing tricks wow the kids in the audience, as the show starts to deliver magic and delight.
But as the story continues, the family decide they want a less ordinary life. They decide to head to South Africa to join the circus, and the cart nicely adapts to the story line. The improvisation of props allows creation of a train, a boat and the circus. It’s clever. The cast’s talents incorporate songs, dance routines and a nice bit of acrobatics that draw applause from the audience.
While the family are performing in South Africa, Titch saves a new-born tiger cub from an animal trainer. It’s quickly adopted as the family pet, named Ella.
As Ella grows, she turns from a knitted cub to a mechanical tiger.
“Injections of humour”
As exciting as A Tiger’s Tale is for the kids, it contains injections of humour the parents and grandparents in the theatre enjoy too. Not on the lines of panto, but just enough for you to enjoy the storyline as much as the younger ones.
The story concludes with the family having to return home. But they have a dilemma. What do they do with their pet tiger?
Eventually Ella travels with them and settles in a West Yorkshire village where she was loved by all its inhabitants.
As the story comes to a close, we find out another rule of storytelling: All the best stories end with a surprise.
I won’t spoil the surprise, but A Tiger’s Tale is a great trip out for a young family.
Images: Lewis Wileman