Sunday, November 13, 2011
1927 production The Animals and Children Took To The Streets was ideally suited the studio: the show was brilliant but also hard to describe. Imagine Lemony Snicket rewrote the tale of the Pied Piper, and Tim Burton decided to make a film of it. This could be the cuttings. A cunningly animated backdrop created the infested putrid underbelly of the city, a place where the caretaker is regularly beaten up by Wayne the Racist and his eight kids, where gangs of violent children have to be sedated by Granny's zombifying gumdrops - which the neighbours agree is "a massive improvement". References to modern life - vile living conditions, an underclass society, urban riots, chemical overdosing of mental disorders, and probably a few others - crawl and scurry through the action like the vermin, but presentation is more Victorian end-of-pier: the three women who played all the (non-projected) roles wore pierrot style make-up, and silent-movie piano-playing accompanied the action. Outrageous imagination and subversive humour defiantly compensated for a slim and slightly repetitive story-line in this inverse-fairy-tale which put every theatrical element in the blender and pressed Pulse. The full-house audience all loved it, especially the children. Little dears.