Little Red Riding Hood, Bumblefly at Greyfriars Ringwood and touring

AFTER five years of turn-of-the-year touring, Bumblefly Theatre has built up a tradition of opening on a Saturday afternoon at Greyfriars in Ringwood, and this year is no exception.

The 2019/20 show is David Haworth’s new version of Little Red Riding Hood, peppered with the company’s usual selection of fairy stories and folk tales from around the world.

Anna Harriott and Michele O’Brien once again join company founder Dom Phillips for all the fun of the travelling players and their musical storytelling. The main plot stars a girl in a red cape, a big bad wolf, a granny and the deep dark woods.  Little Red’s anxious father, still waiting after three years for the return of his wife, warns his daughter not to stray from the path.

But our heroine is an adventurous sort of girl, and, ignoring her father, three little pigs and a shepherd’s warning about the wolf, off she went into the woods.  You can’t judge a book by its cover, as she discovered.

Side stories introduce the audience – the younger members always sitting in front of the seats right up close to the stage area – to other characters, here Squirrel Nutkin, the boy who cried wolf, siblings True and Untrue, Hansel and Gretel and a would-be dashing prince.

It’s a helter-skelter delight, with lots of music and a bit of audience participation. Judg­ing by the response at the first performance, from children and their parents and grandparents, it should be a very successeful tour.

The show, which is a co-production with Forest Forge, continues at various venues until mid January. Visit the company website, or see the Arts Diary, for more details

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Performances are at  Ringwood Junior School on Monday 2nd Decembe, 12th  December at Forest Arts in New Milton, 13th and 14th at Broad Chalke Village Hall, 19th at Ibsley VH, 20th at Moors Valley Country Park, 21st at Wilton, 23rd at Alderholt and 24th December at West Tytherley.

The tour restarts on 2nd Jan­uary at Gussage All Saints,  continuing at Ford­ingbridge (3rd), Whiteparish (10th), Hanger Farm Arts Centre (12th), ending at Ringwood Waldorf School on Saturday 18th January.  For many other dates, visit the website, www.bumbleflytheatre.co.uk