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Molly's Marvellous

Molly, Molly the Dolly, the scientist, two moustaches and a tiny fanMolly, Molly the Dolly, the scientist, two moustaches and a tiny fan

'Hello I'm Molly! I'm a grown-up!'

The audience was small but that didn't dampen Molly or her impressive facial hair.

Molly wanted to be a grown-up and the - obvious! - solution was to sport a Mum-made moustache. So off she went on adventures, the colourful kitchen set becoming a jungle, the sky ('how did she do that?!' one child exclaimed as a cloudy backdrop unfurled from a cupboard top), outer space, an art galley and an inventor's workshop. On reflection, it was particularly brilliant for my three-year-old daughter, Sydney, to see a girl having fun as an explorer, an astronaut, a pilot, an artist and a science professor.

This was the first outing for Sydney at the theatre with me. She was all wide eyes and cuddles at the beginning but soon warmed to the experience. Eventually she found her voice to bid for one of Molly-the-artist's drawings, where kids said a number and Molly picked her favourite - if only all art auctions were like that. 

We all became professors (the grown-ups being the 'free ride' for the small ones; there were lots of adult-friendly jokes) and assisted Molly and her scientist in making a big machine of bendy tubes, plastic u-bends, a bowl and three flashing balls which were magically turned into a yellow 'molecule'.

Molly decided she wanted to stay a grown-up, but a builder who insisted she needed insulation and a conservatory instead of a paddling pool and bouncy castle, a waiter who fed her mushroom vol-aux-vents, and a tedious job which ran on coffee, brought out a sneezing reaction to her moustache and so back to mum for milkshakes and pocket money and childhood. 

I wasn't sure about the ending - all those fun jobs are make-believe? Being a grown up is actually really boring? It felt like all those wonderful possibilities were closed down. The little members of the audience got restless too.

This aside, Ceri Ashcroft made a wonderfully exuberant Molly, on stage for the whole hour, and Kathryn Hanke convincingly characterised each of Molly's moustachioed new friends, each one fun, connecting with both adults and children, even my own little rabbit.

Molly's Marvellous Moustache was a celebration of childhood imagination and innocence. As Sydney left the auditorium, unprompted she exclaimed, 'that was great!'

Molly's Marvellous Moustache was adapted from the book by Andrea Heaton and Talya Baldwin, and performed by Fidget Theatre at New Greenham Arts, Newbury, 15 October 2016.

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Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Brazier
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
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