Annabelle’s Skirting Board Adventure, Just the Tonic at the Community Project, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Howard Read and Steve Pretty
Howard Read (Arthur), Steve Pretty (Storyteller)
Running time

Annabelle is off on an adventure through an ordinary living room. But for the world's smallest elephant the most seemingly mundane place can become a world of wonder where not everything is as it seems...

Starring Howard Read from CBBC's Little Howard and Steve Pretty of east London’s Hackney Colliery Band, this interactive kids show has a simple concept delivered by performer, storyteller, camera, trumpet and ukelele for a multi-artform treat.

Children (targeting 3-12 year olds) are ushered in to some upbeat music and an audience facing camera intermittently flashing up, causing shrieks of delight and animated hand waving from the young ones (and many of the big ones).

We then meet teller Steve and Arthur, an entertainer who delights in showing us how he met animations Icarus, a cheeky moth with a fondness for woolly jumpers and Annabelle, a tiny blue elephant with a big personality.

While rehearsing their dazzling new act, Arthur accidentally locks himself out, leaving Annabelle - assisted by Icarus and some surprise creepy crawlies - to save the day and make sure they get to the theatre on time!

With a positive message of the world being a big scary place, but you can succeed, the little ones delighted in the story, with a refreshing lack of mollycoddling, allowing them to work it out and immerse themselves in all elements of the delivery.

There were some awkward transitions between live action and animation, but given that the aim is to "open the door to the world of live entertainment for the Minecraft generation" by combining tech with the traditional, it succeeds in successfully transfixing a room full of weeins with charm and wit.

Accompanied by little scamp Megan, this reviewer delighted in her delight. Megan was so impressed that she attempted to get to the stage a few times in her keenness to get involved, and there was almost a tear or two saying goodbye, but this was easily remedied by singing the catchy theme tune on the way home. And adults - you may be humming it to yourself for a lot longer than that.

Until 30 August, 11:30am