City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Saturday Stories, Traverse Theatre, Review

By Justine Blundell - Posted on 05 November 2010

Andy Cannon
Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Wee Stories
Andy Cannon
Andy Cannon
Running time: 

Billed as ‘for everyone over 5 years old’, I was still somewhat concerned that Saturday Stories may be a little sophisticated for my particular 5 year old’s tastes. Generally used to having to hold her concentration together only for the time it takes Driver Dan to tell his five minute version of today’s moral tale, I was interested to see whether 60 minutes would prove to be a bridge too far.

Would it engage her? Would she be able to sit still and listen? Would I actually get to sit through this performance to the end or be forced to shuffle out, embarrassed, a quarter of an hour in? I needn’t have worried, we were in extremely safe and experienced hands.

Entering the auditorium I was at first struck by the effective simplicity of the set: a black background against which stood a single chair and a table draped to the floor in a silk red cloth.

Once we’d settled into our seats, Andy Cannon appeared and began to weave his spell. Keeping it topical, in honour of this being Halloween Eve, this Saturday Andy had decided to tell some spooky stories.

The audience (comprised of 5 – 12 year children, mostly but not all accompanied by adults) were then asked to create the appropriate atmosphere by communicating, via ghoulish wailing, just how spooky we wanted the stories and just how dim we could bear the houselights. And thereupon, with minimum fuss, we were all quickly engaged and prepared for action: this was to be no passive story-telling experience.

Armed only with a few well-chosen props (an impressively hollowed out tumshie for instance) that had been lurking beneath the silk-clad table, Andy Cannon held us spellbound as he spooked and thrilled us with his stories and had us chuckling and giggling with well-timed jokes and asides that ensured the faint-hearted a little light relief. Interaction was sought, and willingly given, right through the performance, which climaxed with us together creating our own ghost story - again wailing to express support for our favourite ideas thrown in from the audience.

Naturally, those at the upper end of the age range contributed most to the interactivity throughout the show, but thanks to the not inconsiderable talents and skills of Mr.Cannon and the beautifully simple and therefore adaptable format, the young ones (and adults too!) all felt included in this magical shared experience.

Andy Cannon's next performance of Saturday Stories is on 27 November. Tickets are £5 full price (£4 concessions). Group/family ticket (4 people) £15