(Susannah Clapp’s article appeared in the Guardian, 12/28.)
It has been a season of strange theatrical beasts. None of them is more imaginative than Jabberwocky. Once again the Little Angel theatre makes the miniature spellbinding. Steve Tiplady’s production, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poem, is a substantially revised version of the theatre’s 2004 production, with the set and puppets designed as before by Peter O’Rourke. The difference is that this time there is no script other than Carroll’s own words; lines of the verse are dropped in fragments throughout the action.
The Little Angel recommends Jabberwocky for anyone aged six and upwards. I recommend it for everyone. It begins with a wooden mannequin, small enough to sit on a puppeteer’s finger, and with a low-voiced recitation of Carroll’s poem. It goes on to create the nonsense stanzas with geometric shapes, acidic colours and a pared-down musical accompaniment. The result is uncanny and enchanting. Oh, and comic too.