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Wednesday, September 21, 2011


One of the delightful productions offered for children at the 2011 Witness Hilton Arts Festival was Topsy Turvy. (Review by Pauline Dalais)

Written and directed by Peter Court, it’s described as an old Russian fairy-tale about a little old man and a little old woman. They’ve been married for 60 years and their relationship is one long argument. One day the old man mixes his own fertiliser and next thing, there’s a great big turnip growing in their back garden. He can’t dig it out himself so he needs the help of his wife and therefore he has to start being nice to her.

However, the job is bigger than the two of them and so they call on the help of audience members, inviting them on stage as members of their family – and the cat. Along the way, a puppet fairy offers three wishes but the old man handles this badly so they end up back at square one. With the clever use of props and masks, Liesel Coppin (old man) and Daisy Spencer (his wife) skilfully engaged with their young audience who loved them.

The moral of the story is that we need each other’s help in life and nothing worthwhile can be achieved without behaving decently towards our family, friends and colleagues. Seating in the Topsy Turvy Tent could be improved as it is difficult for the smaller children to see the stage. – Pauline Dalais