City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Imaginate 2014: a small story /eine kleine geschichte Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 06 May 2014

A Small Story scene
Show Details
Starcatchers and Theater o.N. (Berlin)
Andy Manley and Ania Michaelis(creators)Robin Sanders (production manager), Danny Krass (composer) Fred Pommerehn (designer) Rhona Matheson producer/ Starcatchers director),Dagmar Domrös (dramaturg/artistic director Theater o.N.), Vera Strobel ( artistic director Theater o.N.), (photo)
Andy Manley and Ania Michaelis
Running time: 

There is a modern beatitude that says “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures”. In a small story/eine kleine geschichte from Scottish company Starcatchers and German company Theater o.N, creators and performers Andy Manley and Ania Michaelis encourage the audience of small people to be just that.

With an air of inspection, precision and order the two serious adults, dressed in autumn brown braided and waistcoated suits, reveal the curious contents of the various sized drawers of a dream cabinet. The objects are given surprising and incongruous sounds creating a surreal world that includes a pencil sharpener dog, opera singing fish and a giggling liqueur glass.

Not unlike Miranda Hart and her vegetable pals, human qualities are given to ornaments and kitchen implements that go from being lost souls to a cosy togetherness with either similar things or with a more disparate group. Either way relationships are imagined between inanimate objects that can seem perfectly feasible and no doubt easily understood by tots.

There is minimal speech between the two, as is fitting for shows for this age group, with each language getting its share of dialogue. When Manley exclaims “Gesundheit!” while looking at one of the objects, a child in the audience mistook the exclamation for an explanation, calling out ‘It’s a zoonhite’. Music from Danny Krass, as well as the other background sounds like the Glenn Miller Orchestra and an Italian aria, works in a perfect partnership with the piece.

While this is a thoughtfully produced piece well performed by Manley and Michaelis, it had little direct engagement with the audience until the end and lacked the vital elements of mystery and magic in spite of the lovely blue stars and the cute wee Edinburgh train. At least it wasn’t a tram!

A quarter of a century of providing quality children’s theatre is the proud claim of Imaginate (previously the Scottish International Children’s Festival). This silver anniversary year is marked with an exciting programme of 14 productions from Scotland, England, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. It runs from Monday 5 to Monday 12 May 2014 at venues across Edinburgh and then on tour to venues across Scotland as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Once again, Imaginate invites families to join their fourth Fringe for Families on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 May 2014. This free and fun packed event is always popular and takes place in the nooks, crannies and open spaces of the Traverse Café Bar during the Festival weekend.

Tuesday 06 May 13.30 & 15.00
Wednesday 07 May 09.30 & 11.30
Thursday 08 May 13.30 & 15.00
Friday 09 May 13.30 & 15.00
Saturday 10 May 10.30 & 12.30

Age recommend 2-4 years