Where better to stage a show set in the imagined frozen north than the less than cosy main hall that is Assembly Roxy. Never fear though, while the venue may be a bit on the airy side, renowned Edinburgh based visual theatre and puppet company, Tortoise in a Nutshell, and Aberdeen based Freshly Squeezed Productions ensure that at least your heart will be warmed.
Audiences access the prepared cushioned area through a gorgeous arcade of illuminated boughs with some miniature surprises en route that delight their path to the Yuletide treat that is Flutter.
In this near wordless performance exploring friendship and its boundaries, Christie Mitchell and Arran Howie play two girls who share an adventure in the snow with their toy penguin Philip. The girls might be in their back garden, but in their imaginations, they are ascending icy peaks, sliding down frozen slopes and battling snowy hurricanes in their quest to find the cheeky, greedy penguin pet who’s got lost. And here lies the magic of the show. Through excellent choreography and puppetry skills, we can enter fully in to the fantasy. Howie’s wonderful set that’s hung with triangular icicles and full of hidden wonders adds to the magic. Musical sounds that range from the very gentle to disco to samba to hurdy- gurdy harmonium from composer Jim Harbourne are perfectly synced to the action on stage.
Both Mitchell and Howie (dressed in notably sympathetic penguin colours) throw themselves into utterly believable playful child mode throughout, with Mitchell proving herself to be a brilliant addition to the Tortoise in a Nutshell crew. Post-performance, children are invited to explore the white icy delight of the set.
The show is pitched at children aged 2-6, but an age 2-4 or 5 range seems better not just because many at the upper end of this scale will miss the shows because of school, but because modern 6 year- olds may be a just a bit too sophisticated.
Flutter is a sharp wee diamond of a winter show guaranteed to bring a glow to wee tots and adults alike.
25-29 November 10.30am and 13.30pm suitable for families and children aged 2-6
Scottish Winter tour 2018 continues to
Platform, Easterhouse 1-5 December
Lyth Arts Centre 8-14 December
Dundee Rep Theatre 18-22 December