The Sun, the Moon and a Boy Called River, Traverse Theatre, Review
One of the Scottish companies returning to the Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival this year is the wonderful Wee Stories, a multi award winning company that creates high quality theatre for all ages. In their own unique (and incredibly) 2-man style, they have this time recreated a Bohemian folk tale for Bank of Scotland Imaginate audiences of 5 years upwards.
It is the story of two babies born at the same time but under different circumstances, one rich and one poor, but who fate has decreed will marry. The King, the father of the baby girl, goes to great and cruel lengths to subvert the wish of Destiny and stop the son of the poor woodcutter from marrying his daughter. The result is a classic tale of innocence against selfish villainy and human good against human evil. Of course, innocence and goodness win the day but not before the hero has to perform seemingly impossible tasks set to thwart Fate’s path and we learn the lesson that everything in life has a price.
On the way in to take my seat, there was Andy Cannon chatting to the one half of the Primary 3s that were already seated on the wooden benches round the set of tree stumps (with an axe to represent the woodcutter), strewn leaves and two sets of velvet curtains behind which some magic lies. This must have enthralled children coming to the theatre environment, some maybe for the first time, and it set the tone for the playful, relaxed and chatty atmosphere that the two actors create so well.
Punctuated throughout with the words “The River will find the sea”, the story unfolds and certainly captivated the audience of all ages at today’s performance. Ian and Andy move with versatility from character to character, shifting accents with ease and using puppetry, music and deceptively simple props, like the silken cloth river, to carry the tale. They have a lovely self referential style that children just love and manage to pitch their comic language at a level that is fearless, unsanitised but not vulgar. Their style of performing looks as though they are playing and certainly brings out the inner child in me as it transports the audience through their utterly absorbing show where natural justice gloriously wins out over mean minded revenge. A fantastic all round theatrical experience.
Show times: Tuesday 11th - Sunday 16th May 2010