Adapted by Emma Reeves from the novel by Jacqueline Wilson, Theatre Royal Bath

Dame Jacqueline Wilson is considered one of the most popular children’s’ authors and her feisty female protagonists are favourites with many avid young readers. In this adaption the story of Hetty Feather, the red haired orphan who dreams of running off with the circus is brought to the stage with great energy and skill from a cast of 6 and two musicians.

The circus top setting is used to its limits with stylish direction from Sally Cookson alongside a range of trapeze and circus skills from the talented cast. The use of multi role playing ensures the story moves at a good pace. The story is loyal to the book but the many story telling techniques used could challenge those who are new to the tale.

In the title role of Hetty, Pheobe Thomas leads the show capturing the growing energy and wisdom of the young heroine with ease. Mark Kane (Gideon) and Sarah Goddard (Peg / Ida) also share a loving world for Hetty and their relationships are both tender and believable.

Seamas H Carey and Luke Potter lead the live music composed by Benji Bower in a joyful folk styled soundtrack with some haunting harmonies to support the action.

The flexible stage design from Katie Syke alongside the lighting design (Aideen Malone) and inspired costumes (Jennie Falconer) are just part of the huge team whose creativity ensures that this production is a visual delight.


*** (3 Stars)

Petra Schofield