thu 27/04/2017

I Believe In Unicorns, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

I Believe In Unicorns, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

I Believe In Unicorns, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

An imaginative show for children about the power of books

Bookish, moi? Danyah Miller in 'I Believe in Unicorns' Richard Davenport

At first sight this children's theatre production could seem like a drab story circle for bored bairns. But despite a rocky start, I Believe In Unicorns develops into something rather magical.

After finding her feet, solo performer and fabulist Danyah Miller whisks our attention away from the typical library setting and throws it headlong into an adventure of swimming through oceans, flying kites and climbing mountains.

But most importantly, by opening the books stacked in piles upon the stage, she unearths precious gems - golden eggs, delicate houses with lights burning within, other, smaller books - because stories lead to stories and a row of fragile paper dolls. The delicate design by Kate Bunce is whimsical and alive with meaning, seen not least in the fragile unicorn ornament which underpins the plot.

Kate Bunce's designs in Wizard Theatre's I Believe In UnicornsThe story, developed from Michael Morpurgo's novel for 7-year-olds, tells of a young boy named Thomas who learns to love books against all the odds - namely a cultural revolution in war-torn central Europe. Thomas hates school and doesn't like to read, preferring instead to run wild in the great outdoors.

The play is simply narrated so that children of early book-reading age (6-11-year-olds will get most out of this show) will sympathise with and relate to our hero's struggle with and eventual love of the written word.

After some audience participation - confident children calling out characters and objects to weave into the narrative - Thomas' tale turns somewhat darker, but we are ultimately rewarded by a creative ending which allegorises the power of stories. (Further involvement happens after the hour-long show with a book-swap in the foyer).

I Believe In Unicorns is easy to understand and well-led, allowing for thoughts to be provoked and plenty of room for children's imaginations to flourish along the way.

The play is simply narrated so that children of early book-reading age will sympathise with and relate to our hero's struggle

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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