The writing-performing comedy trio - Joshua George Smith, John Woodburn and James Dunnell-Smith - are back this festive season at the Battersea Arts Centre, with their latest family-friendly show, Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers, which features their signature mish-mash of fairy tale characters and stories.
Goldilocks... with a lot of twists. Photo: Adam Trigg
Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers is mixed-up fairytale magic: Goldilocks follows the White Rabbit to Wonderland, Alice has become an evil Queen, and the Three Musketeers and Humpty Dumpty are on hand to help Golidlocks find and stop her.
From fairytale lands to distant real ones - the characters go via the South Pole as well as to the elves and Santa up North - the characters are on a mission to save their happy endings, before they realise that they have the power to choose their own destinies. And that even an 11-year-old girl can be courageous and brave enough to make a difference.
If you think you've seen everything there is to see in kids' theatre, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this show, which is so wonderfully creative and imaginative - the story is engaging, entertaining, zany and easy to follow.
Plus, who needs crazy effects when you can suspend disbelief and imagine that a large square of fabric is a giant pocket housing three mini Musketeers after evil Alice shrinks them? The actors' ability to seamlessly and comically switch between their many roles even makes the large-scale battle scene between 1,500 elves and the Three Musketeers feel like it's happening before our very eyes even though there are still just three actors and a musician onstage.
The musical numbers are another major highlight: from Musketeers-as-boy-band to a hilarious twist on The Greatest Showman in the "Greatest Snowman" - there's plenty to get adults laughing. Despite flying solo with no child in tow, we found ourselves regularly giggling throughout.
It's also wonderfully interactive: kids throw paper at the stage to simulate a snowstorm, they unsheathe their imaginary swords to fight alongside the Three Musketeers, they answer questions and shout at the actors. Our performance had a very young nursery group in the front row and even they were participating regularly.
We would say that since the show is 90 minutes and contains flashing lights - initially hilariously representing the Three Bears' extensive new laser-beamed home security system - kids under 3 can be quite nervous. The 5-to-7-year-old set will really get the most out of this.
If there's one panto/Christmas show to do with the kids, we think this just might be it.
|Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers, Battersea Arts Centre
|Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN | MAP
|Clapham Junction (overground)
30 Nov 19 – 31 Dec 19, various
|£10 and up
|Click here to book