Monday, 28 February 2011

Peter and the Wolf - The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Sergei Prokofiev

Adaptor: Stephen Smart and Leigh McCalister

Reviewer: Laura Stimpson


Peter and the Wolf is a story we have all heard of, written by the renowned Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev in 1936.  It has been adapted numerous times including by Walt Disney in the 1940’s.  This adaptation is the work of Stephen Smart and Leigh McCalister both original members of Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre, a 55 minute performance aimed at 4-10 year old children.

At the beginning of the play the audience are introduced to the main characters, one by one.  The puppets are cute and used well by the two actors Stephen Smart and Leigh McCalister, working with the puppets as if an extension of their own body.

The story itself is not interesting in the slightest, leading me to wonder why this one was chosen.  The original Peter and the Wolf was written by a composer, it was a musical piece with each instrument representing a character, the actual plot being secondary to the music. Music in this performance was not a feature, it was just played in the background under the puppets performance, it would have been nice to have incorporated some of the original music in the piece.  

However, the cast did manage to make the story interesting in parts through their acting skills and excellent puppetry techniques.  Both actors are good, however Stephen Smart really stands out, he seems natural in all of his roles and very versatile.  Especially impressive is his ability to play the masked character of Grandad, who he portrays through bodily expression alone.

All in all a strong performance, let down by a story that at times seemed not to go anywhere.

Runs nationally throughout the year for information can be found on their website:

Reviewed on the 27th Feb 2011
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