Interesting mix of puppetry and acting
Noggin the Nog
Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone
Keeping parents as happy as their offspring
can often be hard work for a theatre production – aim at the
parents and you’ll lose the youngsters’ attention, and vice
But Noggin the Nog, staged at the Hazlitt
Theatre in Maidstone could not have kept a virtually full house of
parents and youngsters, some aged as young as two or three,
Admittedly some parents, like myself, may have
been attracted by the name – the story by Oliver Postgate and Peter
Firmin, once on children’s television many years back – but that
soon gave way to genuine laughter as the four-man team entertained
us all with humour, songs, puppetry and jaw-dropping staging,
despite very few props.
The best had to be transforming the entire
theatre into a cave filled with gold and jewels, simply with clever
lighting and a glitter ball.
The action was an interesting mix of puppetry
and acting from the four, including switching to playing women by
donning some fetching Viking plaits.
The puppets came in an array of sizes, from
small Noggin and his bride, quietly inching together, to the
enormous but friendly ice dragon.
There was also plenty of drama and, what
children love, booing the baddy, Nogbad the Bad, who may or may not
have ended up living with his granny in Finland when he was
One of the nicest aspects of the show, which
captured the interest of all throughout, was the relaxed delivery
from the four actors, who seemed from the outset as though we
already knew them.
Fittingly, some of them came into the audience
at the end to chat to some of the audience. It’s just a shame it
was a one-off production and more people won’t get to share in the
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