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Review of Flash Festival: Little Bird Theatre Company - The Paper Bag Princess at Northampton Shoe Museum

It was back to the basement of the Northampton Shoe Museum for my third Flash and another storytelling performance, with added bubbles and paper bags. This was a slightly tougher deal to review as it is predominantly a childrens show and in the absence of any children at the performance I saw, it was difficult to tell how it would play out to them. Therefore for the duration of the show, us responsible adults (and quite a lot of students) regressed to our childhood and happily had paper butterflies on string wafting round our ears and shredded paper as a blizzard of snow.

Our performer was Tara Lawrence, who is quite frankly the most perfect person to present a children's show. Softly spoken and playful in style, the choice to do such a show is now rather obvious in the extreme. We all happily were transported into the wonderful world of paper bags, dragons (called Kevin) and Prince Ronald, and our lead character Lizzie's trek to rescue him.

The tale based on a book by Robert Munsch is as all children's tales should be uncomplicated, just full of wonder and fun. Therefore with a relatively slight tale, Tara has the chance to fill the performance with a delightfully playing (and overplaying) performance. So we have moments like climbing stairs turned into classic comic scenes which move from Steptoe & Son to Eye Of The Tiger in a swift magical moment.

The props are also of the perfect childrens performance, so we have delightful cut out houses, water pistols, bubble blowing frogs and the vital paper bag dress. It is all perfect and captured the style perfectly.

Much like a playroom, when we leave the venue, it is a decimated mess, with paper and cuttings strewn everywhere. We leave with a grin on our face and a moment of childhood in our hearts and that is no bad thing.



The Flash Festival 2015 runs between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

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