It never seems very fair to review a children’s show without a child in tow, so for The Princess And The Frog The Wee Review borrowed an accommodating toddler and set out for Sweet Venues and a fairytale ballet.
Let’s All Dance‘s offering at this year’s Fringe has a minimal set and a cast of two, so it’s not a particularly ambitious show. What it does do – and does very well – is provide a near-perfect dose of entertainment for younger children. It’s a short piece, coming in closer to the forty minute mark than the sixty minutes of a standard Fringe slot, but that’s a benefit here rather than a detriment. The show hits its Happily Ever After just as the young audience are starting to get a bit fidgety.
This is a perfect introduction to ballet, with two competent dancers and a clever use of space that means nobody is very far from the action. The final climactic transformation from frog to handsome prince happens off-stage, which is a real shame, and feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity. There are, though, a couple of clever moments – in particular a game of Hide And Seek that sees both Princess and Frog heading right into the audience to the evident delight of the assembled rugrats. The Princess inviting a girl from the front row up onto stage to dance with her is about as perfect a moment of theatre as you’re ever likely to see, and definitely resulted in a few damp eyes from the adults in the audience.
If a final judgement of this piece were needed, though, one need look no further than The Wee Review’s two-year-old guest reviewer. She sat enchanted throughout the whole ballet, and spent the whole of the next day wearing a tutu, pirouetting about the house, and only answering to “Princess”.