Published on January 2nd, 2012 | by Jenny Foxe0
Rainbow’s End – Children’s Theatre Review
I battled the crazed sale shopper traffic and armageddonous weather to take my kids to see Rainbow’s End in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum on the 29th December. An Ofegus Theatre production, we were promised ‘everything from confused Fairies to missing Princes, good Witches to evil Wizards and kidnapped Princesses to Pirates-in-disguise’ and indeed they were all present.
The story is that the Kingdom of Enchantasia is in big trouble. The Crown Prince is lost at sea, there’s also a missing brokenhearted princess from a neighbouring kingdom, all the important witches and wizards are off at a conference and now all the rainbows have disappeared, much to the chagrin of the leprachauns, Mulligan (Richard Shaffrey) and Dedalus (Stephen Gorman). Much of this background is established through a dialogue between Princesses Abigail and Melisande (Louise Guyett and Diane Jennings) that I’m not sure all the children grasped but the arrival of the good, if incapable, temporary Witch Wendy (Sarah Gallagher) was enough to keep their attention and induce the first giggles as she loses control of her broomstick.
There follows quite an energetic adventure in search of the lost rainbows enlisting the help of Captain Swashbuckle (Niamh Hogan) and her amnesiac first mate Sebastian (Moe Dunford) who have posed as dressmakers to gain access to the palace. Complicated yes but it is a fairytale afterall. The Wicked Witch Wilhelmina (Gina Costigan) slightly steals the show with her fabulously scary power hungry wickedness in cohoots with the Wizard Zavelthor (Stephen Gorman) and the confused Fairy Which Way (Luise Guyett) provides some welcome comic relief with her misleading directions.
The show was overall very enjoyable and surprisingly engaging of the little ones for such a simple set. The acting was quite convincing and the acrobatics and stage-combat quite impressive. There’s perhaps a little too much dialogue and not quite enough audience participation (some kids were bursting to shout ‘look behind you!’) Some of the messages of the story are also a little on the gender discriminatory side but if you’re willing to let that go in favour of an old fashioned fairytale happy ending reminiscent of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ it’s definitely worth a look.
Tickets are a reasonable €12.50/€10 or a family of 5 for €40 so it makes a very recession friendly alternative to a traditional panto. Rainbow’s End is running in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum from 28th December – 4th January, Showtime 14.30 Booking at www.milltheatre.ie or Phone: 012969340