Bit of a riddle why it isn't more exciting

21st November 1997 at 00:00
EGG. Theatre Alibi.

Life's a puzzle - or so it can seem to children negotiating the world, whether it's working out how to tie shoelaces or eat peas with a fork. Theatre Alibi's production, Egg, for five to 12-year-olds, shows what fun unravelling riddles can be.

Two performers tell three stories, each of which turns on a riddle. The first concerns Brenda Chicken, too nervy to sit still on her egg. Delilah Chicken offers to egg-sit and asks Brenda a riddle to take her mind off things. (What little creature lives in a place without roof, floor or corners?) The second tale introduces two tug-of-war champions. Despite their rivalry, they learn they must unite in order to outwit their common enemy - a wasp. Story number three involves siblings who must solve a riddle to discover who will inherit their father's fortune.

Between stories the performers encourage the children themselves to crack puzzles. (What can your left hand hold which your right hand can't?) With the actors stepping in and out of the action, this is theatre at its most child-friendly but perhaps at the expense of some magic. As my eight-year-old son concluded, Egg is "funny - but not very exciting."

Egg is playing in Exeter, November 22-28; Dorchester, December 13. Theatre Alibi: 01392 217315

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