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Really Big Pants at Newbury's Watermill theatre

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Wonky at The Watermill, Bagnor, on Saturday, May 14. Review by ROBIN STRAPP

Theatre can be a powerful medium to raise awareness of issues and promote change.

Really Big Pants Theatre Company’s latest show Wonky, aimed at children and families, explores the themes of being different, peer pressure, what true friendship really means and the fact that boys and girls can pursue whatever they want to be despite their gender.


Coupled with the promotion of healthy eating, this was a heady mix for a young audience, but the two female actors Joe Bramley and Willow Nash embraced the subject matter with playfulness and bags of fun in a captivating tale.

As we entered the foyer, we were encouraged to smell herbs and guess what they might be. We were given a poem that we would use later in the show. There was clever well thought out audience participation that had the kids enthralled and eager to join in.

Bramley and Nash played multiple characters, each one skilfully realised with simple costume changes and appropriate accents.


Trixie and Olive are best friends and are determined to win the school’s dance competition with the prize of dinner at the opening night of Chef Nincompoop’s award-winning restaurant.

But Trixie decides to team up with another classmate, leaving garden-loving Olive feeling despondent and on her own.

Devoted dancer Jesse is also looking for a partner and he suggests that they should pair up and of course they win.

There were some lovely characters created, including the French Chef Monsieur Nicompoop who faces a major catastrophe when he and the staff fall ill with food poisoning, caused by a careless sous chef not washing his hands after going to the toilet, reinforcing the need for good hygiene.

Olive comes to the rescue and rustles up a splendid vegetarian dish with the help of the kids who bring vegetables to the stage to go in the pie.

We meet the cool rapper Scool Yo with the audience filling the blanks in his rap.

Then there’s the enigmatic pop star Solar Pa’nelle, and the school sports coach.

This highly entertaining production has a strong uplifting message. Delightful!

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