Review: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, Jacksons Lane

A terrifically fab and festive trip, trap, trip to the theatre!

By: Dec. 18, 2023
Review: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, Jacksons Lane
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Review: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, Jacksons Lane Childhood favourite The Three Billy Goats Gruff has been skilfully adapted by writer and director Kaveh Rahnama. The story is brought up to date with gusto and physical experimentation. Rahnama known for his dynamic work in acrobatics and circus has brought playfulness, joy and energy to the festive performance.

Review: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, Jacksons Lane
Photo Credit: Jacksons Lane

The Troll is masterfully played by Peyvand Sadeghian, updating the narrative by questioning managerial nonsensical rules to keep the goats away at all costs. The Troll innately feels that following orders blindly is never acceptable, as the instructions feel pointless and unfair. As the action progresses The Troll plucks up the courage to stand up to authority and do what is right. The play’s themes of resilience, growth and confidence are refreshing and preferable to the theme of greed in the classic tale.

Co-Creator and designer Alison Alexander’s fantastic puppetry creation of the large-scale troll face cleverly distinguishes between the Troll’s job role and the character. The giant puppet is both comical and moves smartly, enhancing the interactions between the Troll and the goats. Further, Alexander’s ethically sourced giant wooden cable reels, affectionately known as ‘bobbins’ from Riverside Timber Recycling Project in Ongar, create a mini German Wheel extravaganza across the stage. The bobbins thrill the audience with the goats engaging in twists and tricks. The set is visually serene, with a fairy-tale feel, complementing the levels of the circus-based space. The set is supported by waterfall teardrop styled lighting, beautifully designed by Kevin Millband.

The three goat performers do wonders in connecting to the audience, with slap-stick humour and hilarious bleating as they hungrily search for grass in the winter. The talented trio are absolute super stars, superbly led by juggling expert Dani Rejano, who thrills with multicoloured LED clubs in a stunning spectacle of skill and stamina.

Small Goat performer Nat Whittingham is wondrous, presenting acrobatic dance in the form of b-boy style flips, hand springs, cartwheels, back bends and walkovers. Whittingham’s acro-dance is truly magical, with gasps and excitement from the audience throughout the performance.

Review: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, Jacksons Lane
Photo Credit: Jacksons Lane

Medium Goat and Aerial Performer Rebecca Solomon completed the trio of individual performances by using a long yellow rope to wrap, twist, pose, contort and achieve drop stunts. The Corde Lisse performer mesmerised with the perfect balance of strength and control.

A nod to the style of lindy bop enhanced the joy of the goats dancing, which contributed to the pace and the energy of the piece. My 8 year old loved the show and it held our attention throughout. A terrifically fabulous and festive trip, trap, trip to the theatre!

The Three Billy Goats Gruff is at Jacksons Lane until 7 January 2024




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