Merlin. Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton. Review: http://www.childrenstheatremagazine.co.uk
A great performance by the cast, the storytelling of this classic legend was superb with the use throughout of song and live music – all with a contemporary take. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at the Royal Theatre in Northampton.
Will Merrick portrays the quirky, uneasy character of Merlin brilliantly and the audience could really relate to the role and his awkward and clumsy infatuation with Vivian.
The use of the cast to move magical objects was clever and the cast’s playing of instruments throughout was well delivered. The staging and production was slick and imaginative, it worked really well given the close and intimate setting of the Royal theatre the audience felt connected with this story of friendship, love and magic .
Francesca Zoutewelle as Gwen was brilliant and her stage presence commanded attention.
Tom Giles was amusing as the comedy French villain Garotte, however the star of the show as far as we were concerned was the friendly puppet dragon.
The action flowed throughout the play, there rarely being a dull moment, bearing in mind this is a full two hour plus production.
The use of puppets for the battle scene with the Saxons was beautifully choreographed, and our children certainly liked the sword fighting, which was almost dance-like.
Our younger children found some of the darker scenes and the emergence of the dragon scary, however overall the play was very well performed and would be suitable for children of six and above.
Overall a well deserved thumbs up from Violet and Oscar – and their dad.
Art Brenton 5 Stars
The play continues until 5th January 2015
Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP; 01604 624811; www.royalandderngate.co.uk
Pictured: Will Merrick looking pale and interesting as Merlin and the friendly dragon