With laughs, audience participation and a story of the relationship between a boy and his father, Danny Champion of the World is Brentwood Theatre’s Christmas production this year. The show centres on the relationship between Danny and his Dad as they struggle to survive with their small petrol station and caravan
The character of Danny is played by Porl Matthews and although the actor is in his 30s, Porl’s depiction of the 12 year old boy soon helped us forget his age. He guides us through throughout the show with the audience sharing his ignorance at the beginning and learning the secrets hidden by his father and the other characters.
Lee Write does an excellent job of playing the villain, portraying a pantomime type character that we hate even though there’s a case to argue that he’s the victim of the crime. He interacts with the audience, giving them evil looks and threats in a dramatic way that leads to the children laughing rather than feeling threatened.
Jackson Pentland Plays the father and portraying him as the great secret keeper, while trying to keep his son safe. He does a great job of supporting Porl in his role of Danny and interacting with the other characters.
The set was fantastic with Danny’s campervan taking centre stage and half open allowing it to be rotated and used for scenes inside. The best prop was the Sargent ‘pride and joy’, a car that could be driven around the stage.
As an alternative to the Christmas Panto I would highly recommend it. Although the subject matter of poaching may go over younger children’s heads, it has enough toy pheasants and melodramatic villains to keep even the youngest child entertained.
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