Tag Archives: Audrey Brisson



Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre


“a fun and happy atmosphere in the perfect surroundings of the Open Air Theatre”

Even with continual rain – and a short stop mid show, as eight top notch stage crew mopped up the flooded stage for safety; The Enormous Crocodile is a snappy tuneful wonder.

This new musical based on the classic Roald Dahl picture book, on the whole stays close to the original story; taking the audience from the muddy shores of the Nile and through the treacherous jungle, as the dastardly enormous crocodile goes in search of a nice juicy little child for lunch!

As the audience arrives, there are bubble machines and recorded jungle noises, and animal roars and trumpeting, creating a fun and happy atmosphere in the perfect surroundings of the Open Air Theatre.

The cast appear in stunning headdresses whilst wearing smile inducing chest high fishing waders and wellington boots, as they jump into the river Nile with their firefly puppets. The colourful tropical jungle comes to vibrant life.

All the much-loved characters are played by the five excellent cast members, creating delightful puppetry with the fantastic puppets designed by Toby Olié, which often integrate into Fly Davis’ super clever set and costume designs.

Malinda Parris, in the titular role, stays as the crocodile throughout – with quick changes to the extended long tail. Starting with the full cast creating the tail, it then morphs into a fast moving long tailed go-cart with the actor upfront as she gyrates the croc’s humungous head and toothy mouth, belting out crocodile songs!

The enormous crocodile meets the farty, soon to be mud loving, Humpy-Rumpy Hippopotamus, played by the always brilliant Nuwan Hugh Perera. Onwards through the jungle the enormous crocodile meets Trunky the Elephant (Joanna Adaran); the cheeky monkey Muggle-Wump (Elise Zavou) and finally the comedic and delightful Audrey Brisson as the Roly-Poly Bird. The four jungle friends are disgusted that the enormous crocodile is wanting to eat a child – and decide they need to put a stop to him!

The arrival of the Jungle Juniors is a show highlight, as the silly teacher takes them on a jungle adventure. And in true Dahlian style the children “do what we are told not to do”, and once lost in the jungle sing a sweet brave song. The enormous crocodile tries to eat the children by pretending to be a coconut tree (genius set design), a seesaw, and after eating the teacher, the croc dons the teacher’s clothes in the awful reptile’s quest to eat the children!

A magical, if quirky, ending in space as the enormous crocodile explodes into the sun and sizzles up like a sausage – dead!

Maybe not quite as dark as Roald Dahl intended. Time for a celebration!

The tasty, if unmemorable, tunes come fast and furious, composed by Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab, book and lyrics by Suhayla El-Bushra, with additional music by Tom Brady, it’s a jam packed 55-minute show.

The Enormous Crocodile is directed by Emily Lim and co-directed by Toby Olié, with uncomplicated choreography by Vicki Igbokwe-Ozoagu. Musical director Máth Roberts on keyboard, is the only live musician on-stage, hidden in plain sight in a bird hide! The pre-recorded music band sounds great. Tom Gibbons sound design works seamlessly in the open air, and even though The Enormous Crocodile plays during the day Jessica Hung Han Yun’s lighting sparkles.

A croc of gold for younger audiences!

THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Reviewed on 22nd May 2024

by Debbie Rich

Photography by Johan Persson




Previously reviewed at this venue:

TWELFTH NIGHT | ★★★★★ | May 2024
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES | ★★★★★ | August 2023
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND | ★★★★ | May 2023
LEGALLY BLONDE | ★★★ | May 2022



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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk



The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

Bristol Old Vic via bristololdvic.org.uk

Reviewed – 4th December 2020



“as vibrant as Chagall’s paintings but made more enchanting by the truly endearing performances”


Although Marc Chagall is often referred to as the ‘quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century’, Chagall preferred to see himself as representing “not the dream of one people but of all humanity”. A bold claim from one who was raised and immersed in his Jewish culture, but one that is justified. His work transcended the canvas and the artistic movements he helped shape, as he became involved in theatre, set and costume design; even painting the ceiling of the ‘Opéra Garnier’ in Paris. But he is best known for his varied repertoire of images that include melancholy clowns, flying lovers, fiddlers on roofs, circus performers and musicians. They are flights of fancy, which is why a dramatic celebration and portrayal of his life is such an attractive challenge for Emma Rice.

When it opened at the Bristol Old Vic in 2016, “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk” was Rice’s swansong for ‘Kneehigh’, although her love affair with the show goes back much further. And it is to the Old Vic that it returns, in association with both Kneehigh and ‘Wise Children’. A two-hander, although frequently supplemented by the musicians, it is as vibrant as Chagall’s paintings but made more enchanting by the truly endearing performances from Marc Antolin (as Chagall) and Audrey Brisson as his muse and wife, Bella. Antolin and Brisson together capture both the ecstasy and the cracks in their life together. They are not just flying lovers but fleeing lovers too – escaping the anti-Semitism that swept through Europe. Yet it avoids the panoramic perspective and focuses more on the intricate brush strokes of the lovers’ lives, and the personal sacrifices they make for each other.

The piece is a wonderful amalgam of dialogue, reflection, music and movement; and they all work beautifully together. Daniel Jamieson’s script is peppered with intimate detail that can reveal a lifetime of emotions within a few short words, accentuated by Rice’s inventive staging. Ian Ross’s heart-rending score is a constant undercurrent that bursts to the surface with its leitmotifs; seamlessly taking over when words alone are not enough. Yet it is the central performances of the two actors, and their onstage chemistry, that draw us in. Like Pierrot and Columbine their physicality becomes an extra language, to say nothing of their gorgeous singing voices.

This is a rare gem of a piece of theatre. Seldom does humour and magic sit so comfortably alongside poignancy and heartache. Chagall’s success in Berlin and Paris is shadowed by wartime persecution of the Jews: their culture is celebrated here, but we are also reminded of the fact that we are witnessing a culture that was ravaged. But above all, we are sharing a love story and this show is a celebration of that, as well as the artist. More than uplifting; you can see why these lovers are flying.



Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Steve Tanner


Bristol Old Vic

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

Live broadcasts from Bristol Old Vic until 5th December then streaming from 11th – 18th December via bristololdvic.org.uk


Recently reviewed by Jonathan:
The Great Gatsby | ★★★★★ | Immersive LDN | October 2020
The Last Five Years | ★★★★★ | Southwark Playhouse | October 2020
The Off Key | ★★★ | White Bear Theatre | October 2020
What a Carve Up! | ★★★★★ | Online | October 2020
Little Wars | ★★★★ | Online | October 2020
Right Left With Heels | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Marry me a Little | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Rent | ★★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Falling Stars | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Ute Lemper: Rendezvous With Marlene | ★★★★★ | Online | November 2020


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