Tim and Light is a tale about the nature of true friendship. This children’s show used puppetry, music, projection and – well – light, to bring a little magic to a very strange story.
Tim is 13 years old, lives in Brighton and loves ice cream, skimming stones, the sound of the sea and painting. He is in love with Laura Seymore and wishes she would notice him. He befriends a stray cat with silver fur and blue eyes, who he calls Light and they become inseparable. One day he sees Laura and the cool kids from school in a shop that sells trainers with flashing lights and great jeans and... he sees his own reflection in the shop window and comes to believe he isn’t good enough to be in that shop with them.
Tim withdraws into himself, spurns his usual friends (including Light) and stops his usual activities - now everything and everyone is, ‘so annoying’. He wanders around on his own fretting about how he can impress the cool gang and so become one of them.
While Tim is contemplating this familiar teenage angst, one evening his mum sends him to visit his Gran and Tim embarks on the strangest adventure I’ve heard in a while. I must chip in here that adults (or perhaps it’s just me?) need fiction to flow coherently with all threads leading somewhere, neatly wound off in the final analysis. Kids, however, appear to be utterly comfortable with the stuff that can’t be explained – which is actually, though surprisingly, closer to how things are in life: someone pops up, says something and you never see them again.
Anyway, Tim’s adventure, after so many twists and turns I could barely keep up, ended with him concluding that it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or what you look like more generally, true friendship is an adventure, a voyage that takes effort and care and is ultimately about valuing each other for who you are.
I appreciated the staging and the clever use of puppetry and props. I really loved the way lights of different size and intensity were used to create an atmosphere and I was actually in awe of some of the music and harmony – they are a very talented bunch. But the plot seemed over-complicated and the message a bit laboured.
However, having now seen 11 children’s shows at this year’s festival, my 6 year old is absolutely adamant that this is the best thing she’s seen – probably ever!
Show runs until 29 Aug, 12.30pm
Ticket prices: £7 - £9