Hooves and Cinders at Lyric Hammersmith

Published July 8, 2008

A new version of Cinderella by Coram Boy director Melly Still and an equine half term adventure are the centrepieces of the autumn/winter children’s theatre season at the Lyric Hammersmith.

Hoof, a show for ages three and over, tells the story of a lonely pony whose owner prefers watching television to horse riding. When the remote control is unexpectedly dropped within hoof-reach, the horse’s life takes a new tack. Her secret, night-time viewing reveals cowboy films and amazing adventures, and she begins to realise she is not just a dumb animal. So begins a quest for a herd, humour and a life without shoes.

Devised and performed by Niki McCretton, who brought us Muttnik The Dog, Hoof takes audiences on an adventure involving puppets, tap dancing hooves and nostalgic clips of Black Beauty and Champion The Wonder Horse. Hoof plays over the autumn half term from 28 October to 1 November.

This year’s Christmas family show at the Lyric Hammersmith is a new version of classic fairytale Cinderella, which will transform the main house into a Scandinavian-themed winter wonderland. Still, who directed the hugely successful production of Coram Boy which ran at the National Theatre two Christmas seasons in a row, turns her hand to this Brothers Grimm tale of young Cinders, who is banned by her evil stepsisters from going to the King’s ball.

The creative team includes designer Sophia Clist, previously of Theatre-Rites, and Norwegian ice-musician Terje Isungset. Cinderella plays from 28 November to 3 January (press night 5 December).

While Cinderella is suitable for children aged seven and over, the Lyric Hammersmith has also lined up a Christmas show for three to six-year-olds, confidently entitled Brilliant. The show, by theatre company Fevered Sleep, which devised hit show And The Rain Falls Down last year, aims to entertain little ones with an atmospheric production which uses live music, lighting, movement and imagery to take audiences on an adventure led by reindeer. Brilliant runs in the Lyric Studio from 22 November to 27 December (press performance 26 November).

As usual, the Lyric Hammersmith’s season also includes children’s shows on Saturdays throughout the autumn. This year’s programme kicks off on 6 September with Tam Tam theatre’s interactive tale Little Hippo & His Magic Pen, and continues to 31 January with shows by regular visitors to the Lyric Hammersmith, including Theatre Alibi (Teapot, 27 September), Little Angel (Handa’s Surprise, 4 October), Theatre of Widdershins (Rapunzel And The Tower Of Doom, 8 November) and Banyan Theatre Company (The Steadfast Tin Soldier, 17 January).

The season’s shows are also accompanied by a programme of the popular Messy Play workshops. For more information visit www.lyric.co.uk

CB