Four-Star Review Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess

Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess recieves a ★★★★ Review from BroadwayBaby.

A farting princess, flying gnomes, a king, a queen and a giraffe. This on paper looks like the ideal recipe for a children’s show. Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess is based on the bestselling children’s book; a story of confusion, marriage, kidnap and magic beans. You don’t have to be a genius to know that this show should appeal to the demographic.

The show exploded with energy from the king and queen; they seemed confident and comfortable and immediately the audience felt safe. The perfect duo to warm up the crowd of stunned six year olds, they were easy to follow and had a lovely physical openness. These two are the performers that make the story grounded in its telling; they take care not to rush and are warm and likeable.

A rather too-cool-for-school princess was dressed in a tutu-like skirt that the average six year old girl would lust after. She had striped socks and colourful sneakers; this is a princess worth staying seated for. After a while she really relaxed into the show and resisted the temptation of over acting. Her partner in crime was a camp and comedic sidekick who had some very amusing moments, although he sped through some of his lines quicker than even he could keep up with.

The choices made in this show are clearly made for their target audience; all too often children’s theatre tries to have a token joke for the adults, but, judging by many of the grown-ups in the audience laughing at the farting noises, it proves that what makes a four year old giggle can often tickle a forty year old just as much.

This company didn’t try too hard; a wise move since trying too hard often results in patronising a young audience, causing little laughter. However, ten minutes in, this company had the children giggling, joining in with actions and hurling abuse at the ghoulish gnome and the smug stout prince.

However, a poorly chosen puppet is the only way to describe the giraffe servant. It felt ill thought out and it would have been more accessible to have a smaller marionette or bunraku puppet. Puppetry can be so effective, yet this life sized head of a giraffe was clumpy and didn’t add anything aesthetically. When you are playing with a fairytale there are so many magical possibilities - it seems a shame to not take advantage.

The show was likeable, funny, non patronising and will appeal to both boys and girls aged four to eight. It involved and engaged a potentially very fidgety audience for a full hour and for that it deserves credit.