Goldifox

Review by Flossie Waite
A Wishworks Production
Komedia Studio, as part of the Brighton Fringe
For ages 3-12

“You’re supposed to be listening to me telling the story!” wails Andy, the struggling storyteller, as he battles to recount ‘Goldilocks’ amidst riotous interruptions. It all started so nicely – a Punch and Judy puppetry booth, a big book of fairytales to read from, illustrations of the three bears projected onto a screen… until Charlie the Fox came (literally) bursting through the set, and plunged the production into chaos. How fun!

Charlie wants to play the part of ‘Goldifox’ – he may not be blond but he has some heavy bling. He is keen to change things up and, initially, Andy rolls with the punches. After all, stories are always getting updated, he begins to tell us, until he is distracted by Charlie tearing apart the set behind him. This a battle between tradition and innovation, as Wishworks re-imagine old tricks for modern audiences.

Is there anything to be learnt from this hour of anarchy? Well, for one thing, you give a fox an inch and he’ll run a mile. What begins with flinging props off the stage and pouring food onto the floor, descends into throwing pants on the audience and, before you know it, Charlie’s destroying furniture with a chainsaw. He doesn’t even like porridge!

That said, ‘Goldifox’ is a charming geezer with a can-do attitude – a furry Del Boy of the stage. Andy, on the other hand, is played as a teacher-type, intentionally patronising “these impressionable children” as he is whipped into an uptight frenzy by Charlie’s antics. Overall this contrast works well, though Andy occasionally shushes the audience and encourages them to sit down: understandable crowd-control in this now lawless theatre, but a shame nonetheless.

On one level, Goldifox is just incredibly entertaining – you’d be hard-pushed to find a more animated audience. On another level, it’s full of really interesting moments that come from taking a story and theatrical style the audience knows, and breaking the rules: Andy describes ‘Goldifox’ looking through the window of the bears’ cottage, and seeing nobody there. “Nah mate, there’s loads of people here!” insists Charlie, casually smashing down the fourth wall. Whether you’re into custard pie humour or a bit of boundary-breaking theatre, Goldifox is just right.

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