HONK! by Anthony Drew & George Stiles – Co- op Juniors at Seckford Theatre – 8th/9th June
Honk! first hit the stage in 1993 and won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2000.
It’s an updated version of Hans Christian Anderson’s Ugly Ducking story with lessons to be learned about tolerance, bullying, and the role of optimism in coping with difficult times – all contained within a quirky, entertaining 70 minutes.
Co – op Juniors, under the able direction of Thomas Haigh and Musical Director Nigel Virley, were absolutely delightful in a production that filled the Seckford stage and used all the children to the best of their ability.
Using a simple but effective set and lots of lovely costumes, designed by Jennie Ingram & Cilla Tricker, we were transported to the world of farmyards and duck ponds as parents Ida, (touchingly played by Isabella Plumb), and Drake, ( a nice performance by Rhiannon Evans), discover they have a rather strange egg in the nest.
Anstice Cullingford played Ugly – the cygnet in a world of ducks – and was confident and delightful throughout, really making us feel the journey as the poor misfit tried to find his way in a world full of challenges.
The whole cast were in good form musically – and there were some delightful scenes, especially the Flock of Geese dressed as an RAF squadron and the Frog Chorus led by Freya Stokes as The Bullfrog.
A special mention to Maddidson Debnam as a very confident Cat, who really added value to the scenes she was in.
With some nice use of back projections and video – this was a slick, well crafted production where everybody worked as a team to produce a really lovely, entertaining, and in places touching, whole.
Well done everyone – and if you didn’t see it I would urge you to catch their next production – Peter Pan in a Big Top at Trinity Park – 6- 14th July