Mr gum and the dancing bear book review
Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear by Andy StantonIf you want a good example of eclectic programming, consider this: earlier this year I was sat in the Dorfman watching Downstate , a play about a social house for a group of sex offenders. Last night, the same theatre was full of kids as they watched fat Gary Wilmot float to the sky in a hot air balloon. I may have left one show harrowed, but luckily, that was not the case with Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. Set to new songs by Jim Fortune, Stanton brings this fantastical world to the stage for the first time as the loose storyline threads through a cascade of randomness and wonder. Perhaps, too much. The show has some real strengths.
Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear
From there it just gets more delightfully weird and endlessly inventive. Nine-year-old Polly Keziah Joseph lives in Lamonic Bibber, a dozy sunflower-lined town in which nothing much happens. One day, a shaggy, snuffly and moulting bear Kate Malyon lumbers into town. They want him to dance so they can raise beer money. Along the way they meet Alan Taylor, possibly the only gingerbread scholar in the world, and eventually return Padlock to the wild. And all while delivering a beautiful message of friendship, happiness, ecological awareness, working together and loving bears.
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Please refresh the page and retry. Everyone likes bears. Given how keen theatres are to cash in on the summer holiday dollar, this makes it a case of enter the National Theatre, eagerly pursuing a bear. W e are in the wonderfully named town of Lamonic Bibber, and a lost bear has turned up, whom nine-year-old Polly adult actor Keziah Joseph swiftly names Padlock. He is losing his fur because he is far from home — cue a rap song about the Kingdom of the Beasts — and Polly enlists her band of quirky chums to help get him back.
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