My sincerest apologies to Theatre Bristol and the cast and crew of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and His Friends. Life threw a curve we were not expecting and I was unable to complete this review as promptly as I would have liked. So without further ado…TCBS review is here.
I had the pleasure of attending The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and His Friends at Theatre Bristol. WOW! I won’t name each actor with their character as a few changes had to be made due to illness. Those last-minute changes would have never been known had we not been briefed at intermission. The group of actors were phenomenal in all their roles.
Let me start with the set. The hand painted garden scenery gave me the sense of sitting in the grass, looking over the hills, while children played. A perfect aura to begin the story of Peter Rabbit. Annie Carter Moore (Annika Burley) was a voice of graceful aging in her opening scene. Her transition from elderly Annie to the young governess of Beatrix Potter was simple and effective. She transformed to youth before my eyes. As the narrator, her voice carried the spirit of Beatrix Potter’s stories with child- like excitement and passion.
Each story was detailed to precision, from Peter sneaking into Mr. McGregor’s garden to Jemima waddling away from her home with Fox. Life was breathed into every role. Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail played well the obedient children, while Peter’s mischievous antics were written all over his face. Simpkin, in The Tailor of Gloucester, was hilarious. She was indeed the cat’s meow with her attitude and pizzazz. In The Tale of Two Bad Mice, the two mice were remarkable in their rebellious behavior. They portrayed the sneaky actions of scurrying mice as if it were second nature. A few “boo boos” occurred during this set but the cast recovered with ease. The actors portraying the dolls and the policemen were exceptional in their precise movements of the old stiff jointed dolls. Hunter Johnson was loud and flamboyant as Jeremy Fisher in The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. He took the carefree frog and gave him a southern spin. From inviting his friends to dinner, to falling and crushing his worm bucket, this character was a breath of comedy. I enjoyed Ptolemy Tortoise and Newton’s interaction while following Jeremy. These young ladies did fantastic capturing the personas of the animals they were cast as. The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck ended the show. Jemima was a sassy spitfire, even when she waddled. She owned every moment she was on stage. The baseball cap she wore set the tone for her personality in the role.
Let me just say, this cast and crew were outstanding. They brought this adult back to childhood, when life was simple and your animals did the talking. The costumes were perfect! I don’t think Broadway could have impressed me more. The crew we encountered at the door were friendly and upbeat. I cannot say enough about how amazing this production was. I look forward to attending many shows in the future.
Keep up the great work and break a leg!