Maintaining the attention of a young audience for an entire performance is a challenge met ably by the Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company at the Brewhouse.

The Little Red Hen story comprises only a few paragraphs, no complexities and a straightforward moral: no work, no food. An hour-long show avoided major fidgeting, and it was eminently sensible to offer morning and afternoon performances.

Loud music, bright costumes, pantomime-esque humour and puppetry were the ingredients bringing the story to life and delighting the youngsters, who were encouraged to yell out instructions and provide sound effects. Billed as having ‘no scary bits’, a chainsaw-wielding hen induced shrieks, though probably more of delight than fear.

The hen was portrayed by an actress with a zany chicken walk, interchanged at times with a puppet. The old tale was given a contemporary edge with the pig listening to music through headphones and the rat using a mobile phone, and great voices provided by the second actor.

The theatre might be missing opportunities around shows such as this: the merchandise comprised a poster merely a fraction larger than the free flyer. How about copies of the original tale itself? Or selling a discussion sheet for parents to use, such as, ‘Was the hen right to refuse to share the bread?’

Full marks to the Brewhouse for providing shows aimed purely at young children. After all, they are the audience of tomorrow.