CANINE ANTICS MAKE FOR RIP-ROARING KIDS' SHOW
AROUND THE WORLD AND BUCK AGAIN
Writer: Jenny Pattrick
Composer: Laughton Pattrick
Director: Kerryn Palmer
Capital E National Theatre for Children
at CAPITAL E, McKenzie Theatre, Wellington
From 7 Apr 2012 to 21 Apr 2012
[45 mins (2-7 yrs)]
Reviewed by Laurie Atkinson, 12 Apr 2012
originally published in The Dominion Post
Buck was the hero of Capital E's hit The Farm at the End of the Road and he's back after going abroad to some sheepdog trials, but he's in quarantine with three other dogs all waiting to be allowed into New Zealand. His companions are Fifi, a poodle from France, Horatio, a bulldog from England, and Dolores, a chihuahua from Mexico.
Horatio (Phil Grieve) belongs to Lord Barkington who is to be our next governor-general (!?!) and sings a Gilbert and Sullivan pastiche called I'm a Very British Bulldogin front of his union-jacked kennel (designer Brian King). Fifi (Jessica Aaltonen) sleeps in a wine barrel and all the dogs curiously sing French Cuisine, a song about food that dogs don't normally eat.
Buck (Adam Burrell) wears a swandri and Dolores (Belinda Wylie) sports a poncho. Just when you start to wonder if there's going to be a plot you realise there's something fishy about Dolores. This fishiness is idiomatic, not a clue to her identity, and hey presto we are into a canine episode of Border Control.
It's all great fun, energetically performed by the cast, slickly directed by Kerryn Palmer. Laughton and Jenny Patrick have provided plenty of songs and comedy though I did wonder at times what the very young will make of some of it.
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