I had won some tickets to see the Enormous Turnip at Jacksons Lane. Having not won anything before I was delighted, and my two lovely boys were very excited about going to the theatre. I duly hunted down the book and read it to them. Whilst the said enormous turnip would have Alan Titchmarsh’s knees a-trembling we were all slightly concerned as to just how interesting the story of these two OAPs who plant a turnip seed which grows so large it takes a number of people and animals to pull it up could be.
In trepidation we went to Jacksons Lane and to a certain extent we were right – not very much happens during the 50 minutes of this play for children aged two to six. The two OAPs – Raymond & Dottie Chickweed – plant the turnip seed and after Dottie sings to it the seed grows (overnight) into the enormous turnip. Thereafter it takes the aforementioned oldies, a dog, a cat and a mouse together with the whole of the audience to pull this vast root from the soil.
However, the children are captivated as from the moment the doors open Raymond Chickweed is outside chatting to the audience as they filter through from the auditorium into the theatre; once in the theatre Dottie Chickweed chats to the children about their favourite vegetables. And so the scene is set for an enchanting hour in the company Marc Parrett and Fiona Putnam, who play Raymond and Dottie.
It’s all very gentle with the simple set comprising a shed, a tree, a lantern, the vegetable plot, a washing line on which hang socks and some sheets. The two or three songs that appear are accompanied by a small guitar or an accordion. Marc and Fiona give us extremely likeable, but more importantly for small children very believable performances, as the nearly-retired couple and the enormous turnip lives up to the title!
So take a break from the madness of Christmas and take the kids to see this charming piece of theatre – they will love it!
The Enormous Turnip – presented by Stuff & Nonsense
Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road, London N6 5AA
Showing until 31st December 2011
FAMILY TICKET £43.00
Call the Box Office on 020 8341 4421 or book online www.jacksonslane.org.uk