Quotes and reviews
Kevin Berry, The Stage – 28 October 2011
“Mike Kenny, the leading adapter of children’s stories, and the integrated company Mind the Gap make an irresistible combination. Their version of Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men, seen in the spring, was Mind the Gap’s most successful tour to date.
With Stig of the Dump, Kenny is in playful mood. The four actors play with the audience – they play on an exciting, magical set on which things drop, thud, bang and spring into life.
“Close your eyes,” commands JoAnne Haines, as perky sister Lou. It is far better for us to imagine her brother Barney’s fall into the dump, she insists, and it is. Then the fun really begins.
Your reviewer was astonished to be told that Daniel Collier, who plays Barney, is only in his second year of actor training, for adults with a learning disability, at Mind The Gap. He invests his role with amiable charm. His assurance is remarkable.
Alan Clay has acted with the company for rather longer, after being one of the first to graduate from in-house training. He operates a Stig puppet and when greater action is needed he dons a mask and becomes Stig. His acting is wonderfully exuberant.
Gemma Ryan plays the children’s sedate grandma but has the opportunity to let rip as one of the Snarget brothers, the naughtiest children in the neighbourhood. Fun parts like this come along only very rarely.
A fun show throughout – a show with a broad, infectious grin. Feeling jaded? Go see this – it will inspire and excite and leave you with a lump in your throat”
“Very moving and creative” Murray Edwards, Theatre Royal Wakefield
“A wonderful, magical, funny, touching piece of theatre” Lizi Patch
“Thank you for the show. The staging was really clever. We like the way you used everything on the walls as props. We will be shouting Jam Jar Jelly Babies on the playground for ages now.” Class 9AB Riverside
Want to know more about Mind the Gap’s other shows, here is what other people have said about previous productions:
“An intense and honest performance that blows away previous patronising portrayals of learning disabled characters. A powerful play and a coup for the company.” Matt Fraser, Disability Now(Of Mice & Men 2005)
“A landmark production.” Kevin Barry, The Stage(Boo 2009)
“Easy to recommend a show as good as this” Andrew Smaje, Bath Theatre Royal (On The Verge 2006)
“One of the best productions I have seen for a long time and one not to best” Newcastle Evening Chronicle (Don Quixote 2003)
“Heartbreakingly Good” Alfred Hickling, The Guardian (Of Mice & Men 2011)
I would like to thank all those for creating such a memorable piece of theatre. My students will benefit from this in so many ways” Teacher Halifax (Of Mice & Men 2011)