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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Danger Mouse Saves The World

Theatre Royal, St. Helens
August 21 (then touring until October 31)

Director: Steve Kray
Producer: Katch 22
Cast Includes: Ellis Creez, Karen Powell, Jonathan Garratt, John Highton

Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins

  'Danger Mouse Saves the World' Promotional Poster


He’s back. Danger Mouse, saving the world and in all his glory. What a treat it is to know he’s alive and well. What a joy to be reminded that Penfold really is stupid. Ah those days of yore, running back from school to catch the latest episode of Grange Hill or Byker Grove; innocent days when Tom & Jerry were still politically acceptable to a mainstream audience, when Seaman Stains wasn’t seen as a euphemism and a British mouse was champion of all he surveyed in the eyes of the civilised world.

Of course, what made Danger Mouse the mammoth success it was, lay in its unrelenting pace thanks to some terrific writing by Brian Truman and Mike Harding. Hardly a moment  passed without someone being minimized or blown up. Its what kids want ... good clean mayhem. Simples. Look at TISWAS, for goodness sake !!!!!

Yet somehow all that’s been mislaid here.

Danger Mouse Saves the World - on stage performanceAsk a four-year old who Danger Mouse is and they won’t have a clue but ask their parents and they’ll happily recite the theme tune and talk like an asthmatic frog until the cows come home. That’s another beauty of the TV series; it was of its time and that is where this stage adaptation sadly falls down.

 It shouldn’t matter, because the theatre show should stand on its own two feet, but it does matter. A lot.

Nobody who should know, the kids, actually knows what’s going on or why, which is a shame.

The acting’s good, the sets are lovely and the costumes are quite outstanding . Trust me, that is Baron Greenback and Steletto on stage and in all their regal nastiness and royal incompetence.

There are some other nice touches, too, which on their own make the show worth seeing. The voiceover narration is quite possibly the funniest thing about the entire afternoon and the use of a soundtrack of long forgotten adverts during the interval is a masterstroke.  Colonel K, too, is a bumbling treat.

But the oomph any children’s show needs is sadly missing, the relevance of the Super Spy’s return is lost and children are soon fidgeting.

It’s a great pity, but perhaps a blast of Space Dust could sort the old rodent out because the very idea of DM and Penfold returning to wow a new generation is one that’s surely too delightful to pass up. 

Chris High.

More Information: http://www.dangermouseshow.co.uk/page3.html

 

 

www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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