Bed-time horrors

28th April 1995 at 01:00
As an introduction to a residency workshop about bullying presented by SNAP Theatre, Diane Samuels' hour-long How to Beat a Giant makes a sensitive yet robust piece. Set in that sibling battleground and gateway to nightmare, the children's bedroom, the action follows the withdrawal of babysitter Joe's sensible adult authority.

First, from her upper bunk, Lenny teases her younger brother with name-calling and the dares and the bribes of intimidation. When they act out Joe's folk-tale bedtime story, Lenny does all the casting and upstaging, though brother Sniff finds temporary security in his own roles. Lenny has teased Sniff with snotty nicknames, but the real bogeyperson turns up when the folk-tale Giant's Wife materialises, barging in on the child's play terrorising the sibling and threatening Lenny with a literal roasting. Their role-model for escape is the assertive Molly Whuppie of the tale and Samuels achieves a beautiful ending as the king's territory awarded for bravery in the story unites with temporary permission for Sniff to use his sister's top-rank bed - within limits.

Played in the round to an audience of years one to six SNAP's well acted production skilfully uses a lighting tower as its main set. Playing the horrific Mrs Giant in travesty distances the fear and, pointed though it is, play and production offer a refreshing amount of comedy.

Touring to June 30. Details: 01279 503066.

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