Theatre review: Hans Christian at the Barbican Centre

A fairytale feast of the weird and wonderful fables of Hans Christian Andersen is presented with artistic flair

It’s Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday on April 7th. We celebrated in the Pit at the Barbican where it was dark. Two chefs welcomed us and showed the table for twenty of Hans Christian Andersen’s book characters. We had to imagine they were there, I think it’s more fun that way. Each character had its own little story and magic trick. This show is promenade, you needed to walk around to see the tricks. I was excited because the last promenade show I saw at The Barbican, Hansel and Gretel, was brilliant.

The chefs pulled a bow and arrow which shot across the table, it was going to smash the plates so they pulled them apart and it hit a bull’s eye at the other end instead.

Thumbelina’s section had two forks that created a butterfly controlled by string. A projection of a frog would jump in her bowl and make a splash.

The chef kept moving The Ugly Duckling’s chair because danger - like a hot stove - was everywhere he sat.

You could touch the melted snowman - sticks for hands, carrot nose and under the ice, a fake heart glowing.

There was a toilet chair that kept on farting and had gooey mixture on its plate. The story was that three brothers wanted to marry a princess, so they went to her castle. One of the brothers collected mud, dirt and leaves. The princess married him because she thought he was funny.

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A shadow sat in a chair. His plate knife and fork was glowing up green, it looked strange.

I liked all the little tricks they were doing and when we got to touch all the stuff.

People controlled most of the things under the table, like sailing a toy boat across it with magnets. At the end of the show they came out and we gave them a big clap.

* Hans Christian, You Must Be An Angel, is showing at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2, until Friday, November 11.