Eerie noises from The Tale of the Cockatrice greet us as we wander in to Venue 13 at the Fringe. Without warning, the eponymous Cockatrice emerges from the dark and gives us all a fright, a fitting start to this tale of mystery and fear.
This show from Mumblecrust Theatre has a lot to love, including ingenious use of props and plenty of laughs throughout. Our hosts break the fourth wall immediately, introducing themselves as wandering story tellers. They have a cart of odd objects and bags of energy as they cleverly take us through a tale of brave knights, mysterious eggs and a deceptive woman who has learnt that the best way to navigate a man’s world is to look pretty and act dumb. Nuns made from wooden spoons, shadow puppets, and a horse inspiringly fashioned from a Hessian bag and feet, are some of the visual highlights.
The performance is uneven at times, deviating from the main thrust with no clear purpose. One of the very charming songs feels extraneous, for instance. There are a couple of technical hiccups too, but the duo navigate them well, remaining engaging and clear throughout.
Scheduled for 10.30am, The Tale of the Cockatrice it’s definitely aimed at children, but it is also absolutely suitable for grownups and a good all round show in its own right. Part of navigating the Fringe is picking the goodies that will provide variety and The Tale of the Cockatrice definitely fits the bill, featuring a lot of giggles, some laugh out loud moments and overarching themes of good, evil and gluttonous nuns.
The Tale of the Cockatrice runs until 26th August at Venue 13, 10:30.