Emily Brown and The Thing is the story of a brave little girl who with her rabbit, Stanley, faces dark forests, cold landscapes and witches lairs in order to help The Thing find comfort and finally let them all fall asleep. Based on the book written by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Neal Layton this stage adaptation is charming and watching the book come to life in a dynamic performance was such fun.
Sophie Alice as Emily Brown was wonderful to watch. She really brought to life the Emily Brown that readers have come to know and love. Not only in her physical resemblance to Emily but in her character, Alice lifted Emily out of the pages and with energy and panache.
Andrew Mudie did a remarkable job as Stanley, Emily Brown’s toy rabbit, who goes on all her adventures with her. As with all the characters Stanley had two forms; one human and one puppet. Mudie’s ability to bring the puppet Stanley to life was second only to his performance as the rabbit himself.
Putting Alice and Mudie together created a dynamic duo that filled the stage with hair raising adventures and warm humour. From their choreographed dancing, moments of joyful celebration and calmer, more subtle interactions Alice and Mudie really were like two inseparable friends who knew each other inside out.
Sam Buitekant brought more to the show than a persona for The Thing, his role was diverse and it included sound affects which added a charismatic element to the performance.
Very young audiences may find it a bit long but the performance always seemed to pull children back into the fold. It is an entertaining piece of theatre with talented actors and a heart-warming story to hold it all together.
Sydney Opera House Presents Tall Stories' adaptation of
Emily Brown and the Thing
based on the book by Cressida Cowell and Illustrated by Neal Layton
Director Olivia Jacobs
Venue: Playhouse | Sydney Opera House NSW
Dates: 4 – 15 Jan 2017
Duration: approximately 55 minutes (no interval)
Tickets: $30 – $39