five trio

Darcy Benham and Jake Bradnock discover why we don't tend to eat lemons like oranges while a bowler-hatted Wayne Walker-Allen on his accordion, plays on


Derby Theatre


Senses, five of them, touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste. We use them to discover and understand the world around us, and it is those senses which are explored at Derby Theatre in Five, a lovely production for little ones.

With a mix of mime and contemporary dance Australian Darcy Benham and Jake Bradnock from just up the road in Matlock take their young audience on a journey through the senses with the help of a bath duck, a cream cracker, grapes, sweets (word of advice here: don’t eat the wrappers), sour lemons, drums, squeaks and horns, a bunch of flowers . . . and a toilet brush.

And behind it all is Wayne Walker-Allen, barefoot in a sort of toy soldier uniform, who greets the audience playing a harmonica in a holder before accompanying the duo playing accordion, drums, mandolin and clarinet, a box, horns, clicker and horn - oh, and he runs on grapes.

The production is in the round in Derby Theatre’s black box studio, with a row of chairs on each wall with mats and cushions in front for the little ones and the trio involve the audience at every opportunity, whether by looks and gestures, or direct interaction such as playing a drum or smelling flowers – the chance to smell the toilet brush was, thankfully, missed from the script.

Everything is done with a sense of playful fun, such as the game when Ben has to guess which hand Darcy is holding the flowers and which the toilet brush. Obviously he gets it wrong every time and is probably grateful that bit is about smell and not taste.

There is no story as such, just new discoveries among the common everyday items around them inspiring new games and mimes.

My youngest grandson, four last month, enjoyed the fun and innovation, while my eldest, aged eight, just loves theatre and liked the way the production was put together declaring it a good show for young children.

And young children, wide eyed and full of wonder, sitting on mats, seemed to agree. As a show without words, all visual and movement it is also a show which is fully inclusive making it also ideal as a relaxed performance, after all theatre is universal.

It is a delightful show, running for around 45 minutes with a play and activity area before and after for the little ones. To 10-08-19.

Roger Clarke


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