Review written by Flossie Waite
Half Moon presents a Tam Tam Theatre production
Reviewed at Half Moon Theatre
At Half Moon Theatre until 26th November 2016, touring nationally from Spring 2017
For ages 0-3
Today, I watched a grown man carefully and intentionally cycle in the narrow pathway of piled leaves on the side of the pavement, clearly giddy on the feeling of crunchy joy under-wheel. Last week, I was with a group of 14 and 15 year olds in a park, and all they wanted to do was play with leaves – throw them in the air, lie in them, take selfies with them. Tam Tam Theatre’s newest production explores a fascination that will be fairly new for its very young audience, but surely life-long.
Though the production taps into a universal appreciation for leaves, perhaps none of us love them as much as the one-woman show’s central character. Marleen Vermeulen is a warm and friendly Mother Nature figure, with foliage sprouting behind her ears and falling from her sleeves. She cares so much about a single leaf that she’ll cradle it in her arms and sing it to sleep, or dress it in a tailor-made mackintosh when it rains.
For her especially, then, Leaf comes with both highs and lows. As the seasons pass, we watch Vermeulen’s joy at a branch covered with new-grown greenery, and her sadness when her favourite leaf has fallen from its tree. But don’t despair – this play ends as it began, with the life-cycle starting anew.
Sometimes the props can be a bit fiddly (trying to clothe a single leaf is no easy task) but as the piece is so early on in its run, this will only get smoother. A gentle soundtrack accompanies this production about simple pleasures, and at 25 minutes the show is short and sweet.
Children’s Theatre Reviews exists to help plug the gap in criticism and writing about theatre for young audiences. It is run entirely voluntarily, and needs support to continue covering and supporting the sector. For more information and to help give children’s theatre the voice it deserves, please visit our Patreon page.