Thursday, March 20, 2008


Travelling Light at the Cramphorn Theatre


What was the first live theatre you remember ? For some lucky pre-schoolers, it'll be the endlessly inventive Shadow Play, presented by Bristol-based Travelling Light Theatre Company.

Sally Cookson's creative piece used the everyday, the paraphernalia of playschool, to conjure up a magical world of movement and music that held the audience rapt for nearly an hour. At no point was the work patronising or trivial.

Kazoo, stylophone as well as accordion and electric guitar played an original score with rhythm and melody. Paper screens, like eggshells, were pierced by emerging hands and bodies. Later the paper was used for shadow work, and some breathtakingly beautiful moments with firefly-like points of light, and finally, after dreams on a floating star-cushion, the paper was a canvas for bold colourful sketches recalling the events of the drama, ice-cream, seagull, snake and all.

The silent passages were accompanied by infant questions, proving how involved this audience was. As the lights changed for daybreak after the dreams, one tiny voice greeted the actors – Gergo Danka, Ben Harrison, Remi Tawose and Stevie Thompson – with a cheerful “ Morning !”.

As one parent said, it's the shared experience in the warm, dark theatre that makes this unique – you don't get that in front of Cbeebies.

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