5Pound Theatre's Jason Cavanagh directs his original work Kiss Them All Soundly, an Into The Woods esq look at the darker, grittier side of three re-imagined nursery rhymes. Cavanagh delves into the realm of fantasy versus reality, digging into the sub-conscious of four famous childhood characters, Simple Simon, Georgie Porgie, Mary Had A Little Lamb and Alice (In Wonderland). It is an insighful look at the darker side of these characters and their stories, their motivations and their existence.
The cast of four incluse Peter Rowley, Adam Wilson, Susannah Frith and Brooke Smith-Harris, who deliver performances of varying degrees. Wilson is to be commended for the raw courage and passion that he brought to his performance of Simple Simon. Frith as Mary came across particularly filmic throughout the evening, leaving her performance a little ambivolent. Clearly dominating the stage is Rowley. His characterisation of Georgie Porgie is so complete and executed with such precision and nuance that his scenes with Smith-Harris are the most brilliant of the night.
Kiss Them All Soundly's strength lies in its uniqueness, quirkiness and complication. Yet it's also to be its very own downfall. It often presents as being too complicated for its own good. There are puzzling moments where we are left trying to decipher what is actually going on. These moments are at times not fully answered, which leave us in a state of underwhelmed confusion.
Having said this Kiss Thm All Soundly is a gritty little show that is as brave and courageous as any other new work going around and deserves to not only be seen but developed over time.
Kiss Them All Soundly
5 Pound Theatre
The Owl And The Pussycat Theatre