Whistle Down The Wind, The Union Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until December 21, 2019


Whistle Down The Wind is a heartwarming show that has stood the test of time, and this is a wonderful production of it. The story which contrasts the faith and optimism of childhood with the darker and often harsher worldview of adults is an apt narrative for this time of year, and the cast and creative team have done a fine job of bringing it to life. Richard Taylor's music and lyrics were quite haunting. They captured both the stark, almost bleak, atmosphere of this Welsh village and its sudden illumination by the simple belief of children who discover a stranger in their barn. Sadie Levett as Cathy, Tara Lucas as Nan, and George Hankers as Charles all do a quite amazing job of making us see them as the children who can believe in miracles. It is so easy for adults playing youngsters to fall into parody or cliché but that never happens here. Even when the director takes the bold step of having the three of them interact with real children they manage to create entirely credible presences. Fiona Tong is excellent as harried Auntie Dolly who must look after the motherless threesome and Stuart Simons gets it just right at the Dad who finally sees the wonder of his children's innocence. Eoin McKenna's Vicar was a stand out and his rant was quite awesome. Louise Kempson was a solid Miss Lodge, though her bottle swinging was a rather unfortunate slapstick note in an otherwise fine characterisation. There are lots of pantos and fun around the Christmas period, but this classic story and its first-rate production stand out as a lovely reminder of the true spirit of the season.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until December 21, 2019
Tue - Sat: 7:30 pm, Sat & Sun: 2:30 pm
The Union Theatre
Nearest tube: Southwark
http://www.uniontheatre.biz/whistle-down-the-wind.html

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