HERE’S a great family show to warm the cockles on a cold November morning.
It’s based on a children’s book by Philip Pullman and fans of the author in general, or this tale in particular, won’t be disappointed.
Over the years, Pullman’s work has been adapted many times for the stage and screen - but results have been mixed.
Only a couple of years ago, the first part of the acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy got the Hollywood treatment.
But the studio got cold-feet about the series’ anti-religious themes and plans to film the other two books appear to have been shelved.
I’m quite sure that Birmingham Stage Company don’t have Tinsel Town’s budget, but they certainly know how to tell a story.
We’re introduced to a feisty, young girl called Lila - who sets out on an incredible journey to discover the secret of firework making.
Along the way she scales a volcano, encounters a fire-fiend and is captured by a band of would-be pirates.
Laura Durrant is a likeable heroine, but it’s Craig Painting’s Rambashi and his barber-shop quartet who got the biggest laughs.
As always, the BSC have delivered a family show full of heart and it goes without saying the audience of schoolchildren loved it.