Hans Christian Andersen and his Stories

TONY COOPER Norwich Theatre Royal


> Norwich Theatre Royal

The stories of Hans Christian Andersen are favourites with children around the world and Busybodies Theatre Company from East Dereham chose the bicentenary of Denmark's most famous son to tell some of his best-loved stories in music and dance.

This original show (directed and choreographed by Nichola Hood) featured a talented cast of over 100 local children and adults and included some colourful dance routines based on such favourite stories as The Little Match Girl, The King's New Clothes, The Red Shoes and The Ugly Duckling. And five-year-old Cerys Orriss stole the show cast in the title role of Thumbelina. The audience loved her!

The first half juxtaposed scenes from the life of Hans and his faithful sidekick Peter, played with great panache by Adam Armstrong and Sarah Barsoumian.

A talent contest - conveniently taking place in 'wonderful' Copenhagen - gave the company a good excuse to show off their best work with some dynamic modern dance routines, a moving song from Keely Rayner and an appearance by the ever-popular Adult Tappers. A treat for the eyes!

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The second half was given over to the story of The Little Mermaid, with eleven-year-old Natalie West excelling herself cast in the title role. She has a natural talent and one to look out for.

The whole cast, however, showed their versatility in acting, singing and dancing with the show having some imaginative production details and boasting some fabulously-designed costumes.

Busybodies' biennial shows at the Royal are always a treat for the ear and eye - this one was certainly no exception!