I’VE seen many “little people” in decades of reviewing theatre. All were dwarfs and all in the pantomime Snow White.
But even for this old scribbler in the stalls, there are still theatrical magic moments in store. One was this week when I wallowed in a farce, in which every character on the Opera House stage was a dwarf.
It was unique.
It’s delightfully funny, superbly performed and proved that though the cast were little people, their acting was enormously talented and performed with rare skill.
It was everybody’s favourite little man Warwick Davis who came up with the idea of performing the old Whitehall farce – and casting it with people of limited statue.
And See How They Run has great stage presence. the springtime offering with a difference is wholly memorable. And it’s cracking message was simple – little people are quite capable of holding an audience in the palms of their tiny hands.
The Philip King farce comes with advanced credentials ... it ran in London for 15 years. With actors not vertically challenged, of course.
Warwick – the smallest little man in the cast – set up his company and saw the huge potential in the knock-about, run-about farce involving vicars – real and false – the untimely arrival of the Bishop, a drunken spinster, and a down-to-earth maid (Francesca Mills) who took the stage by storm by darting about the stage faster than Mo Farah.
Farce is always improbable, but stretch the mind a little and the silly situations are almost believable, as when a lady and the real vicar fall into a dance routine, the maid sees something altogether different.
With a splash of panache, Warwick plays the Rev Lionel Toop, vicar of the parish. The sight of him running about in his underpants will remain strong in the minds of the audience. Rev Toop was a true hoot.
As the show progesses, the confusion collapses into hilarious chaos and producer Eric Potts is to be praised for bringing out the very best in the play and the actors.
See How They Run is on at Manchester Opera House until Saturday, May 3.