By Flossie Waite
Theatre Hullabaloo and Theatr Iolo
The Clore Studio Theatre, Unicorn Theatre
2pm, 31st October 2013
Just in case you don’t read the rest of this review, you need to know now: this is children’s theatre at its very, very best. Every element – the music, the set, the lighting, the direction, the story, the acting – has been so carefully considered, and the result is, like Luna herself, out of this world.
Billy is scared of the dark. He won’t admit it – it’s his favourite toy, Pig, who is scared of the dark, not him! – but, nevertheless, he hides under the bedcovers at night, afraid of the shadows. Luna, tired of playing with the stars, visits him one night, and together, they help him overcome his fears.
Entering into the theatre space was like entering into a dream – low glowing lights on a bed, a cello softly playing in the background. The performance started with the on-stage musician, Greg Hall, singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. Almost immediately, some children in the audience joined in, until everyone was singing – and the magic had begun.
This is a piece of devised theatre with some truly beautiful moments of movement. Billy (Chris Farish) used his toy Pig like a puppet, turning him from flying space rocket to dare-devil adventurer, which had the audience helplessly giggling. Luna’s (Catherine Lucie) exploration of Billy’s bedroom, all entirely new to her as a visitor from space, is engaging throughout. But it is when the two come together that is most special – even wordlessly making Billy’s bed is funny and captivating.
The only slight criticism is it may have been five minutes too long, judging by the sudden collective restlessness of some of the audience members in the final moments. However, every part of the production has been used to its greatest effect – the lighting, for instance, is a joy, though that is all that will be said about it, as any more will spoil some heart-warming moments. What’s more, it all feels so effortless and gentle, and a perfect example of the potential of theatre for young audiences. The flyer aptly describes Luna as a ‘theatre experience’, and it is certainly one I will never forget.
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