Review by Kirsty Alexander
Sherman Theatre and Theatr Iolo
Playing at Sherman Theatre until 31st December 2016
For ages 3-6
Christmas is almost upon us – it’s a sneaky one isn’t it, where has 2016 gone?! But ahead of the turkey and pigs in blankets, the Sherman have a double helping of Christmas magic on offer once again: yesterday it was time for writer Alun Saunders’ The Emperor’s New Clothes.
The Hans Christian Anderson classic has been brought to life by the Sherman and Theatr Iolo and has taken over the studio space as clothes hang from the balcony and stairs. The setting is instantly very informal and interactive as three actors encourage the children to sit on mats near the front and chat with them as the audience enters the space.
The story revolves around Kare and his life growing up to be an Emperor (and the responsibillywhatsits that come with the role). From Kare’s first yells and bursts of funny faces, the young audience I watched with were roaring with laughter. As the three actors switch between songs, dialogue and musical instruments, the story comes to life and a little bit of imagination is in order as the minimal set design is injected with joy and new threads!
With no pouting or pwdi’s in sight, Kare soon learns that his parents were right all along: that you must always laugh at yourself (or somebody else will do it for you!) Ending with a lovely rendition of the title song, the young and young at heart are reminded that sometimes all you need is a good chuckle and a bit of silliness. The Emperor’s New Clothes is a wonderful delight of a Christmas show for 3-6 year olds.
Kirsty is based in Cardiff and works in the arts. She is part of the Welsh Young Critics’ scheme, and you can read more of her reviews on her blog. Follow Kirsty @chaotickirstyy
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