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Princess Smartypants | Arts Depot

Princess Smartypants, which is based on the popular books of the same name by Babette Cole, is the tale of a young Princess who enjoys her freedom and independence, and doesn't want to get married. Directed by Tom Brennan, the show is a colourful, brimming with joy, music and wonderfully vivid characters. 

Princess Smartypants is played by Alicia Vilanculo, who does an admirable job as the clever Princess and brings energy to her role. Amazonia the Dragon played by Jesse Meadows is a gentle presence, who, whilst understandably otherwise occupied during the show, feels slightly underused. However for the brief moments that she is on stage, she works magic with the younger audience, allowing them to join in with her playful antics. The Queen and King (along with a number of other roles) are played by Eva Redman, who does a great job at the loving but nagging mother. Redman also uses a hand puppet to represent the King, which makes for endless laughter for the audience. 

Tom England is the show's standout performer by playing a multitude of roles, most importantly Prince Swashbuckle. His exaggerated language and playful parodies of well known pop culture figures enhance his gift for physical comedy, and he ensures that the longer scenes are filled with giggles. 

The set manages to be both nostalgic and imaginative, with the furniture appearing to have been drawn by a child, adding to the whimsy of the show (Ruby Pugh). The costumes feel as though they have been created for a child's dressing up box rather than regal costuming, and this works so well for the play, truly grounding it in a child's creative world. Amazonia the Dragon has beautifully designed costume and make up. The lighting is colourful and bright, with the house lights occasionally coming on during moments of audience interaction. There are a rare few scenes which are slightly more intense, with red lights or harsh spotlights but these never alarm the audience and only help to set the tone (Rachel Duthie). The show uses live music (a one woman band by Jesse Meadows) and song to help tell stories and this makes for catchy numbers. Composed by James Newton, Princess Smartypants and Prince Swashbuckle both have rather impressive and catchy theme songs that stand out amongst the other few numbers. 

Princess Smartypants is a fun watch that will delight younger audiences, whilst also teaching them to embrace themselves and follow their own heart. Hearing several younger members loudly requesting a second viewing of the show upon leaving the theatre is a testament to the quality of children's theatre. Princess Smartypants will next be playing at the Lyric Hammersmith from 28th May until 1st June - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography from Arts Depot website


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