Aurora

Reviewed by Harry Mottram
An egg Christmas show devised by members of the company, 12 of whom are part of the Theatre Royal Bath Theatre School
Reviewed at the egg theatre, Bath
Playing until January 7th 2018
For ages 0-4

There’s a sense of wonder as you enter the room at the top of the egg Theatre in Bath. Dimly lit there sits a studious young man in his pyjamas sitting and writing in an eye shaped snow scape that runs the length of the space with a triangular white tent at one end. Around the scene the audience take their seats or simply sit on the floor in touching distance of the snow while above hang large three dimensional stars. A magical soundscape fills the room before the lights dim and a strange drama takes place which initially takes some unravelling to understand.

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Once you’ve grasped the sun is Sula Levitt as she bursts out of the tent to tease and taunt the moon played by Yves Morris in his studious and serious night attire it all makes sense. The moon makes sure the sun doesn’t get too carried away and is sent to bed at night while he takes over the duty of caring for the globe representing the earth kept in a box which periodically cries like a baby. There is much playful action between the two characters before the sky is lit up by the northern lights which spark an elaborately folded and illuminated map of the stars below.

Devised by members of the theatre company the multisensory drama which features no dialogue is inspired by Inuit folklore and the Northern Lights. Aurora features movement, facial expressions, mime and playful action aimed at connecting with children and their imaginations. In general it works for the 40 minutes with only some children losing interest which in a way was the only issue. For children of two and three to be transfixed continually there needed to be a little more action and a more understandable narrative to engage them. Directed by John East Aurora’s main strength is its production values of light (Ziggy Jacobs Wyburn) and sound (Dinah Mullen) along with the joyful performance of the duo of Sun and Moon.

The audience was most attentive when they engaged with them directly and when Sun teased Moon. Sudden changes of mood through sound and light or the presentation of a glowing globe or other prop also grabbed attention. Playing, teasing, partying, expressing, explaining, touching and sharing were expressed with a soft touch by Levitt and Morris in a production full of wonder but in need of more content and narrative.

This review was originally published on HarryMottram.co.uk

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