Tons of bum waggling, a host of accents and reams of toilet paper: The Giant’s Loo Roll is summer’s answer to pantomime. It’s packed with the perfect staples for a kids’ show but is let down by an uneven script.
Performers James Worthington and Jenny Lee give their all when it comes to the enthusiasm, swapping between characters with ease. Farmers and tailors are brought to life with elaborate costuming and remarkably quick changes. The show’s production values are high, and one look at the set makes the care and consideration put into this play very clear.
These accolades are undermined by the script. There are a few snappy lines to be found in amongst the samey dialogue, but the flashes of wit only make the outdated references seem more disappointing. Considering Nicholas Allen’s book was first published in 2012, the gags are sourced from nineties and noughties culture: it’s bound to alienate their young audience. The songs all occur after the loo roll has helped a character, meaning that lyrics are largely the same. The disco influence causes several of the tracks to bleed into one and despite encouragement to clap along it’s hard to keep energy up for the full duration of these songs.
There are some hidden gems, with singing loo roll puppets and a teacher-pupil double act. Lee and Worthington shine as performers who deserve a better adaptation.