Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 15 April 2013

Knick Knack And Doo Dad: Children Were Glued To The Bizarre Events Played Out @ Brighton Dome

If Samuel Beckett, Spike Milligan, Sergei Diaghilev and Franz Kafka all got together to write a children"s show, Knick Knack and Doo Dad is pretty much what they would have come up with (Studio Theatre, Dome Complex, Brighton 13th April 2013).



The set is reminiscent of Beckett's 'Endgame', with the wild humour a reminder of Milligan. 

This, coupled with a complete lack of respect for any convention of children's theatre that Diaghilev would have loved, and a plot that folds in on itself in a labyrinthine web of confusion that Kafka would have been proud of, should not have worked at all.

But in actual fact it did…well sort of…well I think it did.

If you add in to the mix that this was originally a Christmas show, and that some prior reviews were less than kind, and that the most colourful and cuddly things on the stage were some fake black rats it should all have been a disaster. 

But it wasn"t. Well, I don"t think so anyway. 


In addition the theatre was only just half full, and the plot, if it existed at all, was so strung out and unintelligible that I had no idea what was going on, and I have an M.A. in Greek Theatre and 13 years of reviewing under my belt.

Further, the sounds effects, such as telephones accompanying the show, had major technical difficulties. 

See what I mean? This should have been the worst thing I have ever seen. Except, it wasn"t. In fact it was one of the best. Honest.

Someone once said that so called 'classic books' refer to the texts that parents like their kids to read, rather than the books the kids actually like. 

Thus Enid Blyton's work was sniffed at for years while stuff like The Railway Children was hailed as a "classic". 

Be honest, which did you read as a child?

As a reviewer of children's theatre I have tried to learn that lesson and observe the reactions of the kids to the productions, and not just the parents (myself included). 


The children loved this play, they absolutely loved it; they shouldn"t have, not on paper, but they did. 

Not one child, apart from one girl who left crying, did anything except sit glued to the bizarre events on stage. 

Patrick Lynch and Carlo Rossi, the two stars of the show, pretended to be each others reflections in a mirror and played slow motion football with a black sack of rubbish. 

One pretended to be dead and then kicked the other ones bottom while he consoled a life size dummy that seemed to represent his mate"s alter ego. 

Magic fires were lit in umbrellas, yes, umbrellas, while low-tech snow appeared in the form of cotton wool sheets. 

One man squashed the other by rolling out a section of astro-turf filled with rats across his prone body. 

Another had glasses that squirted out pretend tears that they then caught in a bucket complete with a metal funnel. Do I need to go on?

The adults looked on bemused by this festival of post apocalyptic modernist plot-less theatrical barmpot nonsense, while the children giggled, stared in bewilderment, looked on in shock, sat back in confusion, smiled in wonder and stared in awe.

You see they loved it. 

My children, both boys aged 7 and 5, loved it. 

Joe was so drawn by the production that he barely found time to eat his Maltesers, Tom was getting them out of his bag without letting his eyes drop.

"What did you think of it then?" I asked them afterwards.

"WE LOVED IT!" They said leaping up and down wildly. They then proceeded to spend the next two hours going hyper and copying the "pretend guy on the other side of the empty frame is your reflection" trick all the way home all the way around Sainsbury's. 

Sorry fellow shoppers!



by: Howard Young (Arts Editor)


Share    

Whats on in Brighton today

Ajay Chhabra With Acting Students
Nutkhut, the leading outdoor performance company which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is joining forces with City College Brighton and Hove's Acting & Dance department to stage a new production, Dr. Blighty, in the 2016 Brighton Festival. 
Britain's nostalgia obsessives have a new act to follow: a TV themes band, Dream Themes, playing what one aficionado describes as 'songs for the sofa'.  
Like other contemporary music legends of his generation – including Bob Dylan and John Lennon - music and art are inextricably linked in Ronnie Wood's life and the desire and need to create through both art forms is both natural and relentless.
Our Big Gig, England's largest community music festival is to return this summer, and local community organisations are being urged to register now to organise an event. 
Once Pauline Fowlers love interest in EastEnders, Ray Brooks' career takes in writing, acting and voice-over work. 
This year Writer and Director David Weedall, celebrates a record breaking 20th consecutive years at the Brighton Fringe, writing and directing his own work with actors from the Brighton area. 
The organisers of some of Europe's biggest vegan festivals VegfestUK are urging residents of Brighton and beyond to go vegan as a matter of priority ahead of their huge event at the Brighton Centre, later this month..
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus have announced the financial fruits of a busy month spent performing in aid of good causes.
A funny fella with a brain as razor sharp as his wit - and don't you just love him for it - Jimmy Carr has honed his craft and now uses his audience as the backbone of his stand-up.
'Color Runners' from across the UK are set to round off a summer of colour madness by returning back to Madeira Drive, Brighton, for the third time.
When the weather's set to high-summer, the well organised family-orientated Love Supreme Jazz Festival will be with us once again.
Dylan Moran - star of Black Books, Shaun of the Dead and Calvary - is back with his new stand up show Off The Hook at Brighton Dome this April.
Vic and Bob have announced their first tour since 1995! The tour, '25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer: The Poignant Years' will be a celebration of the first 25 years of their professional collaboration. 
The Martlets Hospice is calling all enthusiastic, or persuaded, husbands, sons, & brothers – to slip into a pair of stilettos and sign up to their maiden Men in Heels sponsored dash. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs

Insurance Advisor

Your remuneration will be made up of three elements, comprising a basic salary, a bonus for hitting your sales target and a percentage of commission thereafter....
Lawes Insurance Recruitment - Brighton
More details

Qualified Person and Quality Manager - South Coast, UK

You must be a registered Qualified Person and 5 years pharmaceutical industry experience gained from a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and packaging...
Optimus Search Limited - Brighton
More details

Insurance Advisor

Your remuneration will be made up of three elements, comprising a basic salary, a bonus for hitting your sales target and a percentage of commission thereafter....
Lawes Consulting Group - Brighton
More details

Management Accountant

The ideal candidate will be studying for a relevant qualification (ACCA/CIMA or equivalent) with solid management accounts experience from a multi-faceted...
Volt - Sussex
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd