The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch
Play by David Wood, based on the book by Ronda and David Armitage; Josef Weinberger pound;14.95; CD and photocopiablescript; ISMN: M 57005 639 2; www.josef-weinberger.com
For a primary school cast of up to 60 Mr and Mrs Grinling and Hamish - the lighthouse keeper, his wife and their loyal cat - are known and loved in many classrooms from the series of picture books narrating their colourful adventures. David Wood is probably the most popular contemporary author of plays for children. Their story and his talents are well matched in this enjoyable 40-minute musical.
Hungry seagulls keep on raiding Mr Grinling's lunch as it is carried by pulley from cottage to lighthouse. Whether it consists of creamy peach surprise, barbecue crisps or seafood salad, all Hamish's attempts to protect it are in vain and only strong mustard acts as the ultimate deterrent.
Although the Grinlings will need to be played by older actors, up to 60 primary children can take on numerous other roles, as puppeteers, percussionists and members of the choir, singing more than a dozen songs.
They can create storm sounds, ships' hooters, creaking oars and screaming gulls on their instruments and vary the vocal mood from the shanty-like Row, Row to the boisterous waltz He Loves His Lunch.
Singing the words "Mmmm yummy yummy, mmmm scrummy scrummy" will surely get even the shyest performers opening their lungs with enthusiasm