BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

05/04/2016 - 09/04/2016

Circa One, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

16/03/2015 - 21/03/2015

Playhouse Theatre, Dunedin

12/03/2015 - 14/03/2015

Theatre Royal, 78 Rutherford Street, Nelson

19/10/2015 - 19/10/2015

The Famous Spiegeltent, Havelock North Domain, Havelock North

31/10/2015 - 31/10/2015

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

07/04/2015 - 11/04/2015

Assembly, Roxy, Edinburgh, Scotland

06/08/2016 - 28/08/2016

Capital E National Arts Festival

Dunedin Fringe 2015

Nelson Arts Festival 2015


Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Production Details

Beards, Beards, Magnificent Beards 

‘Beatrix didn’t want a tiara. Beatrix wanted a Beard!’ 

From Charles Darwin to Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx to Mr Twit, it is said that the secret to power and greatness is all in the size and shape of the beard.

From award-winning company, Trick of the Light Theatre (The Bookbinder, The Road That Wasn’t There), comes a tale of one young girl’s increasingly inventive efforts to grow the world’s most magnificent beard. Armed with bubble bath and canned spaghetti, join a madcap and hilarious musical romp of physical comedy and clowning, as our plucky young heroine shakes up social rules and attempts to answer the questions that have puzzled mankind since the dawn of the beard.

Recommended for adults and children 7+ 

Dunedin Fringe 2015
PLAYHOUSE THEATRE, 31 Albany St, Dunedin
Times Thu 12 Mar – Sat 14 Mar
Price   $10.00 – $15.00 

Capital E National Arts Festival 2015 

Trick of the Light Theatre in collaboration with Show Pony present the world premiere of Beards, Beards, Beards as part of the 2015 Capital E National Arts Festival.  On Saturday 21 March at 10am & 1pm at Circa Theatre, the story of a young girl’s epic journey to grow a beard will leave audiences in stitches of laugher.

Beards, Beards, Beards is an original play written by award winning playwright, Ralph McCubbin Howell (Most Promising New Playwright – 2011, Outstanding New New Zealand Play – 2013, Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards).

Festival Producer Melanie Hamilton says, “Capital E is very much looking forward to watching the creation of weird and wondrous beards. Trick of the Light Theatre’s new show is a transformative works that encourages young people to question the social rules they take for granted.”

Director, Hannah Smith (Best of Theatre – Best of Fringe NZ Fringe 2014) and (Most Promising New Director, Production of the Year – Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2013) brings to light an ultimately moral tale with themes of self-empowerment, acceptance of diversity, and freedom of identity. These messages are couched within an irreverent romp – a celebration of playfulness, curiosity, and the imagination.

Circa Theatre
Education performances, Senior Week, 16-20 March
Public performances: Saturday 21 March, 10am & 1pm

Tickets for Beards, Beards, Beards can be purchased online on the Capital E website. 

To view the full Festival programme visit 


At The Basement Theatre
From 07 to 11 April, 2015 at 7pm 

Monday 19 October 2015 
Theatre Royal

The Famous Spiegeltent, Havelock North
Saturday 31 October 2015, 4:00pm 



“An engagingly witty gem of a piece that is really worth shaving off an hour out of your busy schedule for” – Theatrescenes

Direct from a sell out run at the NZ Festival with the premiere of The Devil’s Half Acre, award-winning company Trick of the Light Theatre return to the Wellington stage to delight local audiences with their family piece BEARDS! BEARDS! BEARDS! before embarking on a major UK tour. 

Director Hannah Smith says the company are thrilled to be showing Wellington Beards one last time before taking it overseas: “We had a great time premiering the show with Capital E last year, but our schedule meant we only had one day of public performances. We’re stoked to have another chance to share the work in Wellington, before we take it to audiences overseas.” 

BATS Theatre,
5-9 April, 6:30pm
Child (12 and under) $10
Concession $15
Adult $20 


Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016
Assembly Roxy (Venue 139)
Aug 6-14, 16-21, 23-28
Book here


Ralph McCubbin Howell – Writer, Performer
Hannah Smith – Director, Operator
Adrianne Roberts (Show Pony) – Producer
Paul Waggott – Performer
Abby Howells – Performer
Edward Watson – Production Designer
Nick Zwart – Set Constructor
Additional beards construction:  Jon Coddington, Nell Williams, Dawa Devereux 
Gareth Hobbs – Composer and Sound Designer
Marcus McShane – Lighting Designer
Kate Clarkin – Stage Manager

Theatre , Physical , Family , Children’s ,


Colourful characters, catchy songs, plenty of energy, great fun!

Review by Sally Woodfield 15th Aug 2016

Her dads run a barber shop and trim the best beards in town, but they’re not listening when Beatrix says all she wants is a beard. She’s tried growing one herself but as she demonstrates with fabulous facial expression … it’s just not happening. 

Suitably bossy in the most charming way, and with an impish grin, Abby Howells as Beatrix romps through this musical comedy for children. In classic Disney style, a wish made during a storm conjures up Saint Wilgefortis, the patron saint (well almost – she still needs a third miracle to gain sainthood) of bearded women, who tells Beatrix she can seek advice on growing a beard from three of history’s bearded folk … male of course. 

As Beatrix sets off on her quest we learn she wants to find a beard because she thinks no-one will listen to her and a beard will make her wise and then others (including her dads) will take notice. 

This is a wonderful gem of a show. As Beatrix seeks advice from her ‘advisors’, and in the process helps Aristotle, Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln solve problems of their own, she discovers she doesn’t really need a beard after all.

Starring alongside Abby are Ralph McCubbin Howell (the playwright) and Paul Waggott, brilliantly playing the dads and all the characters of the story, and delivering a clever script loaded with puns and of course some fantastic beards – Waggott sports the best of them all as Saint Wilgefortis.

Colourful characters, catchy songs and plenty of energy keep this show – directed by Hannah Smith – moving along at a cracking pace with no chance for young audiences to fidget. Great fun!  


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Full and delicious with a heart and a message

Review by Patrick Davies 07th Apr 2016

Beards! Beards! Beards! – a joint production between the stunning Trick of the Light Theatre and Show Pony – wonderfully straddles the line between a Gilbert & Sullivan sensibility and the Flight of the Conchords kind of kinkier, anarchic humour. 

Directed with clear and bright acuity by Hannah Smith, the play is mined for each opportunity and highlights the pun-laden script, revealing clever comedy while keeping a real heart for the protagonist. Beatrix has realized that no-one will take her seriously unless she, like many white old men before her, is the proud owner of a beard. Her fathers, Barbershop owners (and singers), support her in her dreams but are unable to help.

Like all good Disney, all it takes is the driving desire to be wished aloud (it helps if you cut your hair and there’s lightning) and you might just get what you wish for.

In comes Saint Wilgefortis, patron saint of bearded women, and Beatrix is granted three wishes to help her meet history’s most famous people. Cue the montage. And off she goes towards her quest and, of course, finding what she needs most.

This is a musical comedy and the songs are apt, witty and fun with the three actors covering a huge range of styles with aplomb. Playwright Ralph McCubbin Howell also performs, with Abby Howells and Paul Waggott. All three whip through the story with a vast amount of energy, with Waggott and McCubbin-Howell taking the lion’s share of multiple roles. Each brings their own particular blend of performance styles. 

As Beatrix, Abby Howells makes the most of her somewhat quirky delivery style: charmingly sweet and naïve with bursts of bossy when the narrative isn’t doing it’s job telling her story the way she wants it. Her growing experience in stand-up and theatre performance has grown an assured and commanding presence that is reminiscent of Lucille Ball. 

Paul Waggot gets the best beard ever as Saint Wilgerfortis. While funnily glassy eyed in some of the dance routines (this is my first time and I’m told in the bar afterwards that there are more songs than in previous productions), he clearly defines his coterie of characters with vaudevillian physicality.  

Perhaps it’s because he wrote it, that McCubbin Howell stands out in this performance. His is the most assured and complete performance, hitting every pun without bashing it out, and filling every movement with just enough verve to make it delightful but not focus stealing. My eye is continuously drawn to his enthusiasm and energy. 

Gareth Hobbs’ music and sound allows some scintillating singing while keeping in support of the clever lyrics (very G&S). The sound design, like Marcus McShane’s simple lighting, appears just when and where it needs to, never intrusive, but delightful.  

Ed Watson’s set design strikes a fine line between permanence and tourability without losing any sense of panache. Barbershop poles and dividers provide a backdrop to perform against and the barber’s mirror provides a ‘coup de theatre’, not only reflecting the customers face but providing the single metaphor that grounds this piece: What do we see in the mirror? Is it what other people see when they look at us? What would we change? Is our face just an illusion covering what is ‘real’ inside? 

This is a very full and delicious theatre experience for adults and children alike. Hannah Smith has worked brilliantly to get the best out of her team, each aspect fully supporting the others and combining to make a great evening’s entertainment with a heart and a message.

There are a lot of smiley faces at the end of this performance. We can all be extremely proud that it is this kind of production that audiences overseas will be attending. 


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Musical and comedic and clever

Review by Kim Buckley 01st Nov 2015

The Spiegeltent is a delightful and intimate place to be on a cool evening, everything shiny with mirrors and polish. But on a hot Hawkes Bay afternoon, when somebody forgets to open the gorgeous roof level leadlight windows, it is a hot airless oven. Which was unfortunate not only for the full-house audience of families for Beards! Beards! Beards! but for the three hard working cast members themselves.

Beginning with an engaging barbershop duet and poppingly sharp pronunciation, we are called to the story that is about to unfold. The delightful barbers’ delightful daughter Beatrix is a level headed, single minded and intelligent eleven year old girl who believes the only way she will EVER be listened to and taken seriously, is if she has a beard. “I wish I had the world’s most magnificent beard!!” she fervently wishes as she cuts her hair in a lightning storm.

Through the goodwill of Saint Wilgefortis, patron saint of bearded women, and a large window shaped time portal on the front of the three sided set, Beatrix runs the gamut of our bearded patriarchal history, through World Leaders, Philosophers, Artists, Kings, Queens, and Father Christmas. King Henry the Eighth pauses momentarily and flirts with Beatrix asking “Did I marry you?” before launching into a personal rap.

This is a musical comedy. And it is musical and it is comedic and clever. There has been lots of laughter throughout this show, from big and small people. We are asked to suspend our disbelief as props, beards, and actors take on more than one life each. This is cleverly stitched together with intro and outro conversation, costume, song, time travel, double meanings, clowning and physical comedy.

Beatrix unflappingly solves a few characters dilemmas in a good old fashioned down-to-earth Judy-Garland-is-Dorothy kind of way. In doing so, she realises that it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside of a person, it only matters what’s on the inside.

As I look around the audience members, big and small, there is nodding, foot tapping, and smiling. A great moral to end this story. 


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Clever and delightful hirsute pursuit

Review by Lisa Allan 20th Oct 2015

From the very first beat, Beards! Beards! Beards! delivers. Ralph McCubbin Howell (writer, lyricist and actor) and Paul Waggott (actor) are captivating and charmingly irreverent as they belt out the opening barbershop-style number, inviting us all (even the aunties) into their bearded world. I am immediately captured by their presence. The two actors are completely alive. They are connected to one another, the material they are working with and to their audience.  

Then we meet 11 year old Beatrix, played beautifully by Abby Howells. Going from song and synchronised movements to speaking in a more naturalistic setting requires a careful segue. The entrance of Beatrix after such a strong start was always going to be difficult. I feel that Howells needs just a little something extra to help establish her character and endear her to the audience before the story begins.

Howells does a great job of doing this work throughout however and the driving force is that Beatrix wants a beard, onwards! The sticking point is that Dad and Other Dad just can’t give her what she wants. So, late at night, in the middle of a storm, Beatrix invokes the magic of wishing-whilst-cutting-hair and the story takes off.

The male actors don beards a-plenty and bring historical figures to life as Beatrix tries to unlock the mysteries of beard growing, so that she might grow her own and finally have a voice. Shakespeare, Rasputin, Darwin and Abraham Lincoln feature, to name but a few. The characters are interpreted in unexpected ways and offer Beatrix opportunities to realise her self worth. The message of the play is very clear: we no longer live in a patriarchy. A beard is not a necessary requisite for being heard.  

The play is directed with striking simplicity and adorned lovingly with quirky details by Hannah Smith. Matt Eller truly is, as the programme tells us, a Wonder-Technician. His timing with the light and sound cues is impeccable and he adds many moments of delight and comedy to the piece, doing justice to the designs by Marcus McShane (lights) and Gareth Hobbs (sound).  

Trick of the Light are a special company. They are adding clever and delightful work to the New Zealand repertoire. They work very hard to create tight, magical shows that speak to the child in all of us. They are tackling issues of the moment with humour and playfulness. All commendation to everyone involved in this wonderful hirsute pursuit. Keep making the world a better place through your art.  


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Highly entertaining and handsomely presented

Review by Lexie Matheson ONZM 10th Apr 2015

Ralph McCubbin Howell’s newish play Beards, Beards, Beards is a work of light content but it sure has significant gravitas, not that you’d necessarily notice as you whizz at a million miles an hour through the whimsical eccentricity of the script, tasting the occasional tart tang of the lyrics and the zip/zap multiplicity of a plethora of outlandish performances.

For all its pizzazz it is, after all, the tale of a young woman finding the courage to be who she wants to be and the voice to accompany such a life-changing epiphany. That’s deep stuff. 

I say ‘newish’ because, while this is its first visit to Auckland, Beards, Beards, Beards has already gained a reputation, having been received the ‘Best Theatre’ award at the Dunedin Fringe earlier this year as well as completing a successful season in Wellington. 

Advertised as being for ages 7 and up it is good to see a smattering of youngsters in the good sized audience and I have no hesitation in recommending Beards, Beards, Beards as great school holiday entertainment. It’s pitched at exactly the right level for the kids but has more than enough for teens and adults as well. To say my family enjoys the 60 minute hirsute romp is a huge understatement as it is both highly entertaining and handsomely presented. 

Every bit of the impressive set (Nick Zwart) is used to the maximum and in some wildly creative ways. At the edges of the set stand freestanding picture frames which function as mirrors, portraits, bathtubs and anything else that happens to come to mind. The centrepiece of the set is a bigger frame which doubles as a full-size barber’s mirror and a doorway into the universe. Beside the central frame is an impressive brace of red, white and blue barber’s poles which light up and spin when desired. Balanced above this set piece is a giant black moustache, and in front are perched all the paraphernalia of barberdom – a  chair, smock, tea trolley with shaving and other equipment – and the obligatory broom. Six-sectioned black and white hinged screens at either side of the centrepiece complete what is a most attractive and magnificently functional set.

Without ado two bushy barbers appear and, in mock barbershop style, burst into explanatory – and wildly comical – song. They are Samson and McSamson, “the greatest barbers in the land” (Ralph McCubbin Howell and his sidekick Paul Waggott) and these boys can really sing. 

They have a daughter, Beatrix (Abby Howells), who informs us from the get go, in case we were wondering, that both the men are her Dads which, apart from being incredibly modern, establishes a place for these actors in the hearts of my family at the very least.

Beatrix, despite being precocious and in excellent voice, bemoans the fact that only men with beards get listened to, a fact borne out by her frequently being referred to as “that forgettable girl child”. Not good enough, says Beatrix, and she sets out to get herself some facial fur.

Beatrix, we learn, doesn’t want a tiara, she wants a beard and, while her bushy Papas can’t oblige, she is magically – and instantaneously – visited by none other than Saint Wilgefortis (Paul Waggott), the patron saint of bearded women. As it happens there is magic about if you happen to cut your hair in a storm, as Beatrix attempts to do, and the appearance of Saint Wilgefortis herself is a simple manifestation of the said magic. Who will challenge such a conjecture? No-one in this audience, that’s for sure.

I don’t know about you but the existence of this particular saint had passed me by yet a minimal amount of research informs me – and perhaps you – that her name translates from the Latin as ‘holy face’ or ‘strong virgin’; she first appeared in 14th century Europe; she was venerated by people seeking relief from trials and sufferings and, in particular, by women who wished to be disencumbered from abusive husbands. She is known throughout Europe by many names, ‘Uncumber’ in England, in Dutch ‘Ontkommer’, in Germany ‘Kümmernis’, in Italy as ‘Liberata’, and in Spain ‘Librada’ where her name means ‘liberated’. In France, however, where they call a spade a bloody shovel, she is known as ‘Débarras’ which translates as ‘riddance’. This show is nothing if not educational! 

Saint Wilgefortis, we discover, is one miracle short of a set but can still grant Beatrix three opportunities to achieve beardhoodedness – and therefore be listened to and esteemed – by enabling her to travel back through time to enquire, from some of the great beards of history, what their beard growing secrets might happen to be.

Thus starts one of the funniest – and most profound – theatrical journeys through hirsute history that you can ever imagine. While eventually settling on Archimedes, Darwin and Lincoln as her trifecta, she also connects with Van Gogh, an hilarious Rasputin, Blackbeard (not the pirate), Shakespeare, Confucius, Henry VIII (“Did I marry you?”) and an incredulous Queen Victoria. The men play all these characters with lightning fast costume changes, a multiplicity of beards; it’s all very humorous and, from a performance perspective, seriously impressive. 

All ends well, as indeed it should, while along the way Beatrix makes some substantial improvements to our recognised history. Archimedes’ principles get a tweak, a wonderfully short-fused Darwin gets some help with his ‘Origin of Species’ and dear old Abe Lincoln gets some semantic support with the Gettysburg Address, after which Beatrix realises that she doesn’t need a beard at all to be of value and to feel good about who she is because, as she decisively informs us, “Beards are an outmoded symbol of the patriarchy”. As you can imagine this goes down a treat with the Thursday night, largely female, crowd. 

Beards, Beards, Beards is a very complete piece of theatre and one for all ages. The concept is great, the set is fabulous, and the performances fit like a comfortable shoe. Despite being as polished and as bold as brass they’re way beyond slick and the actors all seem to love every second of sharing with their audience. 

At the heart ofBeards, Beards, Beards is a quite simply stunning script but scripts only work if they are brought to life and this one has life to burn. Hannah Smith is clearly one very talented director to pull all this together and to make it look so easy. Ralph McCubbin Howell is one hell of a writer and he and Paul Waggott make acting look like the only job a young man could ever possibly want. Their team work is astonishingly good, the singing is powerful and the harmonies true, and the ensemble playing carries the audience before it like a tsunami. 

Abby Howells’ Beatrix is an absolute delight. She matches the men in every way (except in the facial hair department) and she sings like a star. She never falters as she weaves us up in the complex plot and she tells the story like a champion. I love her nuanced performance with all its subtleties and when Beatrix has her epiphany I cheer along with everyone else. Son Finn, age 12, is really happy that Beatrix finds herself and the fact that she has two Dads like he has two Mums is a bit of a rare bonus. 

It’s a great night out and you should go. If you’re not in Auckland I’m sure Beards, Beards, Beards with its lumbersexual stars, its dynamo actress and its magical message will come to a town near you and hopefully soon. Enjoy it if it does. I certainly did. 

As a bonus for Auckland audiences there’s a koha show in the foyer afterwards called The Bookbinder. You get to see ‘Trick of the Light’ twice in one night – how good is that – but not for long.

Book now! 


As a young teacher I fell in love with David Smiles’ ‘Children’s Art Theatre’ (CAT) and the magic they shared with kids. I had the privilege of working with young people myself as part of Theatre Corporate’s ‘Theatre in Education’ team in the 1970’s, and for almost 20 years with my own company ‘Troupers Live Theatrix’ and can recall the absolute joy of engaging in this work. ‘Trick of the Light’ have been in Auckland before with The Road That Wasn’t There, a show my family and I cherish, and to see this company beginning to take on the stature of CAT and TIE for my son is the greatest joy imaginable.   

They’ve started to accumulate accolades too with The Road That Wasn’t There winning the ‘George Webby Most Promising Director’ award for Hannah Smith, a couple of technical awards for Broken River (Marcus McShane and Tane Upjohn-Beatson), the ‘Playmarket and Capital E National Theatre for Children Outstanding New New Zealand Play’ award for The Road That Wasn’t There by Ralph McCubbin Howell and the ‘Chapman Tripp Award for Production of the Year’, again for The Road That Wasn’t There. That’s impressive stuff for such a young company and the talent and integrity they each show, with both their work and their approach to it, is simply fantastic.


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Review by Amanda Leo 10th Apr 2015

With a piece entitled Beards! Beards! Beards!, I had no doubt that theatre-watching beard-enthusiasts were going to enjoy this show about, well, a girl trying to grow a beard. I’m not exactly what you’d call an avid beard-enthusiast myself, but this show had me questioning why I wasn’t one. 

We are greeted with a beautiful simple layout of a barber’s shop, complete with two barber’s striped barber’s poles. The stage is immediately taken by two dapperly-dressed, impressively-bearded barbers (Paul Waggott and Ralph McCubbin Howell), launching us in to a two-part barbershop duet introducing the world of beard-mania. With the entrance of their daughter Beatrix, played by Abby Howells, we surmise that her two fathers run the best barbershop in town but are pretty unhelpful when Beatrix reveals her desire to grow a beard in order to be taken seriously. [More


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Dynamic exploration of history and gender issues

Review by John Smythe 16th Mar 2015

Some centuries ago, according to legend, a teenaged Portuguese noblewoman named Wilgefortis foiled her father’s plan to marry her off to a pagan king by taking a vow of virginity and praying to be made repulsive, whereupon she sprouted a beard. It worked insomuch as the king broke off the engagement but then her enraged father had her crucified.

Cut to the 21st century and 11 year-old Beatrix (Abby Howells), according to playwright Ralph McCubbin Howell, craves a beard because history and her daily experiences tell her the best way to be listened to and be taken seriously is to have one. But while her fathers, Samson and McSamson (Paul Waggott and Ralph McCubbin Howell), reputedly the best barbers in the land, trim beards – and comprise a mellifluous Barbers’ Shop Duet to boot – they don’t grow them, except for their own healthy specimens, that is. 

So Beatrix goes to bed wishing … and is answered with a visitation from the exotic Wilgefortis who, despite being the Patron Saint of Beared Ladies, still has to achieve one more miracle in order to be officially sanctified. She is granted three chances to step through the mirror into the past and seek advice from a bearded mentor of her choosing.

But who to consult? William Shakespeare for his intelligence? Santa Claus for his kindness? Archimedes for his practical science? A cleverly staged Ancient bathhouse scene allows Beatrix to give Archi his ‘Eureka!’ moment but she gets no credit let alone a beard …

And so it goes: eschewing Sigmund Freud and Rasputin, Charles Darwin seems her next best bet … but isn’t. Blackbeard the pirate? King Henry VIII? Abraham Lincoln is her last resort … And again, according to McCubbin Howell (via Beatrix’s dream), our heroine helps them find their places in history but gets nothing in return – except for some wisdom born of these experiences.  

Directed by Hannah Smith, Beards! Beards! Beards! plays out in a dynamic yet relaxed fashion. Paul Waggott and Ralph McCubbin Howell have a ball manifesting the hirsute spectres of Beatrix’s dream and Abby Howells holds purposeful focus on the central quest with spirited flair.

Edward Watson’s production design evokes a barbers’ shop, makes great use of picture-cum-mirror frames and other props, and is splendidly activated by the company, abetted by Marcus McShane’s lighting design and Gareth Hobbs’ compositions and sound design.

It is a tribute to all concerned, on stage and off, that the two hundred-plus excited (i.e. noisy) senior primary children (Years 5 to 8) packed into Circa Theatre become attentive and interested throughout the 45 minute show.

A great strength of McCubbin Howell’s writing is that he doesn’t talk down to his young audience, knowing they are at an inquisitive age. “They’re an outmoded symbol of the patriarchy!” is but one of many elements likely to provoke further enquiry and/or provide parents and teachers with the opportunity to explore the themes and historical contexts further.

Even the rotating barber’s poles (the red, white and blue helix) are bound to fascinate young minds and inspire them. If your children aren’t going with a school group this week, there are two public performances this Saturday.


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Subversive quest for power

Review by Kimberley Buchan 13th Mar 2015

There was a big age range in the audience of Beards! Beards! Beards! on Thursday night. Everyone from the age-challenged to the age-abundant left with a smile on their face.  

Beards! Beards! Beards! is the story of Beatrix (Abby Howells): her innocent quest to unlock the power of the patriarchy and many many beards. Historical beards, modern beards, bubble beards and most importantly tartan beards stream past in quick succession.

All your favourite bearded figures make an appearance in this show, including two who will become your new favourites: Paul Waggott and Ralph McCubbin Howell. The three actors sing, dance, rap and roll their way over the respectable reputations of most of these characters. This subversion comes across as cute rather than malicious. 

Beatrix studies powerful and interesting historical figures at school and is frustrated that no one listens to her and worries that without this fundamental basis for validation she will not be able to make her mark on the world like her historical heroes.

The most obvious anatomical difference between them and her is their glorious shaggy beards. The answer: to be heard, grow a beard. Guided by the patron saint of bearded ladies, Beatrix puts her own unique stamp on history. 

The three actors are perfectly suited for this mischievous play. Their playfulness and tongue-in-cheek humour is delightful and they interact seamlessly. The actors all bring huge vitality to each character and add their own little quirky touches that make the audience adore them.

Special mention must be made to Dawa Devereux, Jon Coddington and Nell Williams, the creators of such a dazzling array of spectacular and extraordinary beards as has ever been seen. The intelligent set design allows for a multitude of times and places to be presented smoothly. 

Beards! Beards! Beards! Is the first in a trio of comedies on at the Playhouse that need to be seen.


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