An old gardener is woken late at night by mysterious noises coming from the potting shed. If it’s not a fox or a badger it can only mean one thing, he has a piskie in the garden. A mixture of puppets, music and wonderful storytelling John Brolly's new one-man show is full of mischief and fairy magic. All the family will enjoy this charming story as the hapless gardener is outwitted by the piskies.
Review - Jenni Balow
A new show for children, about a variant of pixie that originated in Cornwall, has been launched at the Minack during the school holidays to a yelling, enthusiastic audience of youngsters.
Mind you, things have changed a bit since I gave it some in the way of audience participation at local pantomimes.
When writer, storyteller, puppeteer and musician John Brolly asked whether he should give a mischievous pixie a wack with a spade, a lively 10-year-old shrieked back "no, put some C-4 under him"!
If I'm not mistaken, that's a particularly insidious form of plastic explosive, lately favoured by Hezbollah terrorists . . . I gasped, did he really mean that.
Oh well, at least the dear little boy is keeping up with current affairs and It didn't shake John, who is an associate director at the Minack, and also presented the fine adult play, And Then Come The Nightjars, last week.
He has probably heard it all during his many years creating and touring a series of shows for children, originally with the Umbrella Arts Theatre Company, going on to develop the schools and community programme with the Minack and the Acorn Young People's Theatre in Penzance.
John knows just how to wind-up his audiences with high-energy antics that get them singing and dancing and shouting along - and that's just the adults, let alone the young 'uns.
His latest show, The Piskie In The Garden, deals with the exclusively Cornish type of pixie "a completely different breed from those across the border".
The featured Pip the pesky piskie is a really endearing little wooden puppet that is hellbent on spoiling the garden show blooms entry by gorgeous Graham the gardener, who keeps falling asleep on the job, and has to be alerted by frequent shouts of "wake up" from the audience.
Do you know what, everything works out OK by the end of this one hour long entertainment that includes John's bluesy I Got Piskie Trouble on his own ingenious gardener's electric spade-guitar, calypso songs, and kazoo conversation piskie style.