I really enjoyed Clive King’s children’s book Stig of the Dump, as well as the associated TV adaptation, when I was younger, so I happily took the opportunity to see a new theatrical version when it came to Hounslow Arts Centre. The story is about a young boy, Barney, who finds a caveman living in a local quarry, and the friendship between the pair grows. This Mind The Gap production has been adapted by Mike Kenny.
The show is performed by four enthusiastic actors who play Barney, his sister Lou and their grandparents. Stig himself is a puppet, adding another, highly effective dimension to the story: he’s appealing and lifelike, great fun to watch.
There are a lot of songs in the production, and these succeeded in getting the children in the audience excited and enthused. I feel that, for me, the piece was pitched a bit young – some of the magic of the original was missing, replaced by audience participation and a signature song for Stig. Having said that, with a children’s play, surely the response of the children is the most important thing – and the young ones at the performance I attended responded incredibly positively.
If you’re an adult nostalgic about Stig, this might not be for you. However, if you have young children of your own and are looking for a charming tale to entertain them, this show would be perfect.