PONDLING comes to the Fringe from one of Ireland’s leading theatre companies, having won a bunch of awards at the Dublin Fringe last year including Best Actress.
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It’s a sharp and occasionally sweet tale of childhood that dawdles through our heroine Madeleine’s household chores (crushing the cans, feeding the chickens), her flights of fancy as she endeavours to occupy her time during the school holidays and her quest to win the attention of the object of her affection.
This is a lovely script from writer and actor Genevieve Hulme-Beaman, full of smart observations about the illogical, irrational and absurd optimism of the young.
Her friend’s beanie baby collection and subsequent visit to the chickens is a comic highlight. But the sparkling innocence of childhood is tainted with a dingy undercurrent that makes you question whether Madeleine is as innocent as she seems.
A nicely imaginative set, clever lighting and occasional music punctuates the storytelling effectively.
My only real gripe with this production is that Hulme-Beaman shouts her way through the hour which I suspect was intended to add a touch of the sinister but left me feeling pretty hoarse myself.
But if you’re looking for League of Gentleman set in pre-teenage years, you won’t be disappointed.