The stage adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s favourite of the 100 books she has written, is a story of female empowerment and independence. Hetty Feather is a girl who stands up for what she believes in. A poor orphan in Victorian England, who’s mother gives her up to the Foundling Hospital in hope she will have a better life. Hetty Feather likes to think she can remember her birth mother as a circus performer and relishes the thought of finding her one day.
Music is performed live on stage by Alex Heane and Luke Potter. Just before the lights go down at the start of the show, the pair sing a fitting song about turning your mobile phone off so not to ruin the performance. If only more shows could make a bigger point of enforcing this issue.
The show is beautifully directed by Sally Cookson. When Hetty gets the rest of the school into trouble, they turn on her by throwing a piece of wood at her which she drags off stage (reminiscent of Jesus being nailed to the cross). Intentional or not, this was beautiful and subtle.
Phoebe Thomas is incredible as the fiery red head Hetty Thomas. Playing a new born baby is no easy task but she uses her face and body language portray her character. Her acrobatic skills are impressive and she reminded me of Rosalie Craig in The Light Princess. Matt Costain, Paul Mundell and Issac Stanmore are a fantastic supporting cast as Hetty’s foster brothers.
Hetty Feather is a magical on-stage experience for children and adults alike. Don’t miss it this summer.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Hetty Feather is playing at the Vaudeville Theatre until 6 September 2014. For more information and to book tickets visit www.hettyfestherlive.com.
Find out more about the history of the Foundling Hospital at www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk