Stig of the Dump performed by the Mind the Gap Theatre Company

29 Oct


The press release said,

“Mind the Gap presents a new retelling of Clive King’s well-loved children’s classic, ‘Stig of the Dump’.  This beautiful adaptation uses puppetry, narration and performance to bring to life a magical story that will captivate, inspire and excite everyone aged 7+”

This was a tall order to live up to…I was interested to see how they would bring this magical story alive.

With an open mind I set foot in the Carriageworks theatre in The Electric Press in Leeds. I had read the blurb from the press-release and the website and so far only knew that Mind the Gap was “Award-winning theatre by actors with learning disabilities”. I was interested to see what was to come.

As we entered the theatre the cast of four (Alan Clay, Daniel Collier, JoAnne Haines & Gemma Ryan) greeted us, giving out programmes which looked like newspapers and encouraging us to make paper hats out of them. This passed the normal tedious wait before the production starts as everyone giggled and folded and had fun making the hats!

Paper party hat

Paper party hat

There was no dramatic “lights off” or “turn off your mobile phones” announcement; the actors subtly took their positions up and we were off.

From the beginning, the cast caught my attention and held it in a captivating performance. The show was funny and touching and played with such professionalism and pride by the whole cast. There were moments where we were laughing along and others where the drama held us open-mouthed.

The set was simple, yet cleverly put together and this made it perfect as the actors took us from Grandma’s kitchen to the chalk pit home of Stig. Speaking of Stig, Alan Clay played an amazing part here. It was the right mix of comical and innocent and I really believed that I was watching a caveman discover a modern world, whether in his puppet form or otherwise.

Daniel Collier played Barney, Stig’s 8-year-old friend. He captured the bored little brother brilliantly. JoAnne Haines was excellent as the older sister of Barney. She managed to convey the right mix of grown up older sister, but yet still showed the childlike qualities you would expect from an 11-year-old.

Grandma was played by Gemma Ryan; another excellent casting choice as the slightly irritated, but loving Grandma came across perfectly.

All in all, I completely enjoyed the 65 minute show. Although it is a children’s story, I didn’t feel for one minute that it was exclusively for children. I never clock watched and would recommend it to adults and children over 8, whether you are avid theatre goers or occasional viewers like myself.

If you would like to see Stig of the Dump, the dates and venues for November and December are:

1 to 2 November Arena Theatre
Box Office: 01902 321321
4 to 5 November the egg
Box Office: 01225 448844
8 November The Albany
Box Office: 020 8692 4446
11 November The Point
Box Office: 023 8065 2333
12 November The Roses Theatre
Box Office: 01684 295074
13 November Tobacco Factory
Box Office: 0117 902 0344
15 November Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
Box Office: 01823 414141
17 November Square Chapel Centre for the Arts
Box Office: 01422 349 422
29 to 30 November York Theatre Royal
Box Office: 01904 623568
1 December Live Theatre
Newcastle upon Tyne
Box Office: 0191 2321232
5 to 7 December Hull Truck Theatre
Box Office: 01482 323638
9 December Mind the Gap Studios
Box Office: 01274 487390
Book online now through Eventbrite


I went to this production thanks to The Culture Vulture


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: