Zestful, artfully performed bunch of Munsch

Gordon Jones
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Jenn Furlong (foreground), Willow Kean, Katie Butler and Chris Driedzic perform a scene from Robert Munsch's book Mmm, Cookies! during a rehearsal for c2c theatre's More Munsch, which runs at the Arts and Culture Centre's Basement Theatre until Dec. 19.

C2c Theatre is staging another group of Robert Munsch’s stories as its third annual Christmas offering, in the intimate space of the basement of the Arts and Culture Centre, in front of an audience of tots, toddlers and youngsters, with parents in tow.

Cheerfully coloured, moveable screens constitute the set, which is reconfigured by the actors as required.

Live sound effects and musical accompaniment are provided onstage with a miscellany of pint-sized drums and cymbals, a ukelele, a mini-piano and a variety of rattles, ratchets, triangles and shakers.

Actors narrate and enact stories of kids and their interaction with authority figures (parents, schoolteachers, firemen, shop assistants) — all punctuated by ingenious musical scoring and neat sound effects.

A ride on a fire engine (and its consequences) is followed by Benjamin being left home alone, enjoined by mom not to make a mess.

Guess what?

A subway train arrives and unruly passengers stream through the house, discarding chewing gum, scribbling on walls and sleeping on the chesterfield — not once, not twice, but thrice. (In children’s tales, as in shaggy dog stories, repetition is de rigeur).

Complaining to city hall does no good. If the subway stops there, the home is a subway station, the mayor insists.

Fortunately, a sympathetic computer corrects the problem by rerouting the subway through City Hall.

Shopping at the supermarket with a parent who disapproves of junk food, childish climbing and falling to parental consternation, making playdough cookies for an unwary teacher and principal, and taking baby sister to school in a knapsack for show-and-tell close out the Munsch episodes.

They are all performed with much gangly running-about and arm-flapping, wide-eyed gazing and scrunched-up grimacing.

Directed once more by Sandy Gow, with sound design by Chris Driedzic, “More Munsch” continues in the Basement Theatre of the

St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre until Dec. 19, running Thursdays through Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Expertly performed by Driedzic, Katie Butler, Jenn Furlong and Willow Kean, the delightfully rambunctious and zestful show bounces along for a boisterous 45 minutes. Admission for adults is $15, $10 for children and students.

Organizations: C2c Theatre, Basement Theatre

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