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Thursday, September 22, 2011


Review of production at the 2011 Witness Hilton Arts Festival by Pauline Dalais.

Written and directed by Peter Court and taken from the legendary Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Froggie Fairy Tale featured Daisy Spencer as the Princess and Bryan Hiles as the Frog Prince. While it differed somewhat to the description appearing in the programme it was nonetheless highly enjoyed by the young audience.

With clever use of props such as face masks and puppets, the actors made good use of the small acting space available. A trunk serves as a pond, the princess’s bed and the palace dinner table. A simple structure carried painted canvas scenery. By flipping the sheets over, different scenes were created such as the forest, the palace dining room and the Princess’s bedroom.

The story is about a wicked witch who casts a spell on a handsome prince, turning him into a big slimy frog living in a pond and he will only be released from the spell when a princess kisses him. Fortunately for him, a princess comes along carrying her 24 carat ball but, while she is playing with it, it falls into the pond. In response to her cries for help, the frog offers to retrieve it under certain conditions: the Princess has to take him to the palace, let him eat from her plate and sleep on her pillow. She reluctantly agrees but goes back on her word once her ball is safely returned to her and they are back at the palace.

In the chaotic fun that follows, the Princess’s father reminds her that a promise is a promise and has to be kept. And that’s the moral of the story. Needless to say, all’s well that ends well.

Apart from their main characters, Daisy Spencer and Bryan took on other roles. Daisy was a suitably evil wicked witch while Bryan put on wings and a tutu to become a fairy. This generated loud comment from the young audience who also delighted in the knockabout comedy of the piece. – Pauline Dalais