The Animals and The Children Took to the Streets

Feature by Amy Taylor | 26 Aug 2011

The spirit of bloody and devastating revolution by the overlooked and undervalued children against the rich forms the basis of this unsettling production, The Animals and The Children Took to the Streets. Written and performed by the award-winning theatre company, 1927, this production is not only visually astounding but also intellectually stimulating.

Set in the confines of Bayou Mansion, a rundown tenement in the heart of Red Herring Street, the worst part of town, the show follows the many occupants of the aforementioned building as they try to live their lives in inhospitable conditions. But their living conditions are nothing compared to the antics of their children, who will stop at nothing to get what they want from the rich.

While 1927’s previous work, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, created a nightmarish and dark world full of dark fantasies and even darker humour, The Animals and The Children presents a world not unlike our own, as tales of poverty, loneliness, boredom and riots form the basis of this visually stunning piece of theatre. While the play was originally performed some time ago, it seems rather prophetic for a show that concerns itself with social unrest, discord and finally dissent to be staged during the Fringe, given the recent riots in London, Manchester and Birmingham earlier this month.

The play’s message of bored and unruly working class children attempting to lead a revolution against the upper classes, however fantastically presented, now seems all the more logical and even more terrifying than it ever could have been before. Beautifully presented and technically sound, featuring Paul Bill Barrett’s powerful animation, with Lillian Henley’s unnerving piano solos throughout, this play showcases 1927’s penchant for all things dark, dreary, and the damned funny, whilst setting it in a rather childlike and always dreamlike setting.

Delivered in their signature clipped and proper RP speech, The Animals and The Children presents a damning vision of modern Britain, our attitude towards poverty, inequality, and perhaps most frightening of all, our apathy towards the ongoing social, financial and political changes that are happening all around us. Creepy, unforgettable and timely, this play ensures that 1927’s reputation as a leading theatre company is completely untouched.


until Aug 28 2011