Thursday, October 15, 2015

Shh! We Have A Plan - beautiful theatre for 4+ from Cahoots (Lyric Theatre until 18 Oct & then on tour)

“He’s real!” the girl in the row behind whispered in disbelief at the beginning of Wednesday evening’s show as a previously still figure resting against a tree came to life. The start of a low volume commentary that ran the duration of the 45 minute performance as she and her friend tried to unpack the magic that was unfolding on the stage.

Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney’s beautiful adaptation of Chris Haughton’s classic children’s book Shh! We Have A Plan creates a delicate enchanting environment that entices children in the audience – young and old – to suspend their disbelief and draws them into the forest scene.

Three tall woolly-hatted adventurers in their blue jump suits and knitted ganzies make their way through a dark misty forest. They seek out stunning wildlife, but have a tendency to want to take it home. Then on a tall tree that sits in the middle of a mound, they spy the most attractive bird. To what lengths won’t they go to capture their new object of desire?

Completely without words the actors are like synchronised swimmers (mostly) out of water, moving in sympathy with each other and with the calming forest soundtrack and bass beat. Puppetry, mime and magic: full of graceful choreography and sleights of hand that interact with the illusions. Garth McConaghie’s music builds up a series of simple leitmotifs that help signpost to the young audience the start of each new attempt to capture a creature.

Ultimately the three characters are set free upon realising that when they stop trying so hard to do the wrong thing, the object of their desires – and much, much, more – falls right into their hands. But wait, what’s that up there …

Touring across the island, you can catch Shh! We Have A Plan in the Lyric Theatre until Sunday 18 October, after which the adventurers will be calling at Roscommon (Wednesday 21), Longford (Thursday 22), Castlebar (Sunday 25), Omagh (Wednesday 28) and Sligo (Saturday 31). More details on Cahoots NI’s website.

Take you inner four year old to see it!

No comments: