The plot of AnimAlphabet—a kids' musical created, surreally, by two members of noughties pop-rock sensations The Hoosiers—doesn’t really hang together when you start thinking about it.
A troupe of animals on a tropical island are desperately seeking out every note in the scale of C major, all so they can get their band back together and defeat the dastardly duck that’s hunting them down one by one and silencing them. Think Jungle Book crossed with And Then There Were None. Exactly. So many questions.
Questions like: what specifically is the science behind this note-collecting policy? Like: is this portrayal of a chilled-out Rastafarian frog who loves his ribbit-reggae slightly iffy? Like: what is motivating our Donald Duck/Darth Vader supervillain? Like: how do the blokes that wrote 'Goodbye Mr A' end up doing silly songs for a children’s show at the Edinburgh Fringe?
None of this really matters, though, because Mark Hooper’s production for Hit The Mark Theatre is easily chirpy and cheerful enough to paper over the cracks espied by the more analytically-minded under-five. There’s a large, colourful set populated with large colourful characters, all of whom have a bouncy, bubbly tune to sing along to.
Colin the Country Cockatoo, our hero, has a twangy ballad. Geoff the Geordie Jazz Giraffe has a standard to croon. And our rapping donkey pal has a stone-cold belter of a hip hop anthem. It’s all good, friendly, family fun. Plus it's signed throughout, which is cool.