From Paris to Edinburgh, performer Tania Czajka brings a menagerie of animal friends with her on a mission to win the World’s Tastiest Carrot Competition. The Wonderful World of Lapin has all the foundations of a fantastic show, alongside a charming conceit of introducing children to French. However, in execution the performance fades into a sea of indistinguishable but not wholly charming family theatre.
Iain Halket’s set design is innovative – a grassy knoll with secret features that create a colourful and vibrant finale. It’s clear that the show flourishes at a number of simple but effective set pieces. But these are moments and, too often, the devised quality of the piece means that dialogue feels repetitive and conflicts feel flat.
Nik Paget-Tomlinson and Niroshini Thambar create a diverse and distinct set of themes per character, breathed into life by Czajka’s enthusiastic puppetry. When it comes to the show’s bilingual aspect, however, there’s again this lack of engagement between the script and the audience. Czajka encourages children to join her in a dance and a recap of the plot at the show’s conclusion: several prompts betray the fact that this French hasn’t been easily retained. It’s a noble pursuit and there’s charm to Lapin et al, but the show has a way to go before its mark is indelibly made.