Theater Review: The Animals and Children Took to the Street

'The Animals and Children Took to the Streets' Written and directed by Suzanne Andrade Israel Festival, June 8.

June 11, 2013 21:36
1 minute read.

Jerusalem Theatre. (photo credit: Rebecca Crown Auditorium)

In the lobby, before the show, women in leopard-print (sort of) suits are distributing gumdrops. Some sort of promotion? Oh no! These are Granny’s Gumdrops – the Chemical Cosh (Brit for “baton”), guaranteed to transform children into biddable robots. The mayor uses them on the ruffianly, snot-nosed, awful kids that have boiled into the city’s pristine park from the cockroach- infested Bayou Mansions tenement where the Wolf “is always at the door.”

1927’s brilliantly inventive, chuckle-provoking The Animals and Children Took to the Streets combines Paul Barritt’s utterly extraordinary rear projection animation with live action. Sue Appleby, Eleanor Buchan and Lewis Barfoot share the larger-thanlife roles, among them the anarchic Zelda, the oddball Caretaker, and Agnes Eaves for whom he longs from afar.

The live people interact with the animated characters, like Agnes with daughter Evie, or the puff of animated dust swept up by the Caretaker’s real broom.

Agnes has read about the Bayou and has come with Evie to rescue its children, convinced that all they need is love, but the Bayou is too much even for them.

There’s a definite nod to Brecht in this tribute to the people that society likes to sweep under the rug. What’s best about People and Animals is that 1927 makes the point lightly and enchants us into the bargain.

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