Hetty Feather at the Vaudeville
Jacqueline Wilson is a star with young girls across Britain and there’s no wonder why: Hetty Feather, which is showing at the Vaudeville Theatre, is only further evidence of Wilson’s charm. She somehow manages to adequately address issues that are usually left out of children’s entertainment. In Hetty Feather alone, adoption, sibling rivalry, the devil, death and murder are but a few of these usually censored issues. But fear not, the show is more soft-hearted than anything else.
Opening with a song that lulls the hearts of all who hear it, young Hetty shares her life with the audience, from the moment she was born until the moment she becomes independent. Her memoir is ever so endearing and has the audience constantly yearning for her well-being. She develops into a daring young ‘un and a number of silly comments are made and whimsical questions asked. And so about 80 per cent of the roaring laughter that the show induces comes from mothers who have experienced first-hand such comments, questions and tantrums with their own children. With Wilson’s writing and Sally Cookson’s directing, this roaring laughter can be shared by everyone throughout the entire production.
Congratulations are due to the six actors and actresses: Phoebe Thomas who plays Hetty, Matt Costain, Sarah Goddard, Paul Mundell, Isaac Stanmore, Nikki Warick and the two musicians, Luke Porter and Alex Heane, who manage to create a bustling world of countless numbers of people. You would not have realised there were only six actors on stage if not for the finale bow. Spectacular fun, the musicians became friends to the audience even before the show had started, as they chatted with and played for the early arriving audience.
The show was grippingly brilliant, from before it began until the very end. It was, however, rather lengthy, specifically for the later viewing times. The show lasts two hours and 20 minutes (including the interval), meaning lots of sleepy children. It also cut out so much of the book that audible complaints could be heard mid-performance. This cutting is expected when a book is adapted to fit the stage, and all in all, the show is a success.
Hetty Feather is on at Vaudeville Theatre until September 6th 2014, for further information or to book visit here.