Bad Day at Black Frog Creak - performed November 1981
By John Gardiner and Fiz Coleman
|Diamond Tooth Lil.||Alison Pollard|
|Big Brad||Duncan Steele|
|Angel Delight||Heather Steele|
|Yipee Brown||Guy Pollard|
|Old Ma Treacle||Jenny Rose|
|No Nose Muldoon||Philip Bruce|
|Dumbo Dawson||Trevor De'Ath|
|Hairy Hannah||Charlotte Parsons|
|Filthy Frank Chisholm||Jason Ball|
|Black Frog Citizens||Tracey Ball
But my editor, being my editor, I went – and I was in for a pleasant shock. The 17 children of the group,
staging their first production, Gave Bad Day at Black Frog Creek a Bugsy Malone quality that will win any heart.
Producer-director Dennis Murfitt has bravely taken the play, written for adults to perform to children, and given it to children to perform for adults. And it works.
“I thought it would be a novel switch,” said Mr Murfitt. It is – instead of an audience of giggling children,
you get an audience of giggling adults, all of them in stitches at playground jokes , they forgot years ago.
The children try hard to act as they think adults would. That is why the play comes over so well.
The nine stars – Alison and Guy Pollard, Duncan and Heather Steele, Jenny Rose, Philip Bruce, Trevor De’Ath,
Charlotte Parsons and Jason Ball – take the parts of Stereo-typed spaghetti Western Characters and given them a
Diminutive Duncan as Sheriff Big Brad looks as it he’s come right out of an &rlquo;adults are stealing our
Rice Krispies” commercial.
The stars, together with the other Black Frog citizens – Tracy Ball, David Bowers, Alison Brett, Teresa Frost,
Deana and Zelda Hargreave, Polly Hubbard and Jonathon Taylor – sing and dance with the zest only children can.
Mr. Murfitt decided to give the children a chance after they were in the chorus of Manifest’s Oliver. They have lived up to the challenge, with a childishly fantastic alternative to the sex and violence of the TV set. The play is on tonight and tomorrow at Manningtree’s Old Legion Hall.