Red Riding Hood
Everyman Palace, Cork ***
Often at the theatre in Cork it’s difficult to know whether you are at the Penny Dinners or a community picnic, so to an audience gorging on crisps, ice-cream, sandwiches and fizzy drinks the brightly illuminated sequences are satisfyingly active.
A charming introductory scene of a moonlit glade transformed to a village peopled with other fairy tale characters from Snow White to Beauty and the Beast, establishes the theme, but the Cada tendency to put as many people as possible on the stage at any one time betrays the promise of a simple story and attractive visual ensembles. The insistence on the prolonged and dominating presence of Flash Harry (Michael Sands), possibly a comment on current economic circumstances, complicates matters, and it is hard to blame Marcus Bale’s wolf for being thoroughly confused, although still bloodthirsty.
As the wolf’s principles forbid the eating of children, the delightful Red Riding Hood of Molly O’Mahony (who alternates the role with Faye Philpott ) survives to celebrate the safety of the wood. The other principal players in an enormous cast directed by Catherine Mahon-Buckley also cannot be faulted. While exercise-video routines and parade-ground drills do not qualify as dancing, the band, under Eamon Nash, keeps up a tempo as buoyant and bouncy as Red Riding Hood’s ringlets.
Until January 6th