Young Vic Theatre (The Maria) 66 The Cut SE1 8LZ To 12 March.
Mon-Thu 10.30am & 1.30pm Fri 1.30pm & 4.30pm Sat11am & 2pm.
TICKETS: 020 7922 2922 (London performances sold out.)
then tour to 16 April 2011.

Runs 45min No interval.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 26 February.

Showing what fun wet weather days can be.
At first it’s a drop, delighting the two performers on a fleecy-clouded day. Then a shower. Then a heavy shower. And for three-quarters of an hour, to the delight of three rows of 3-4s, Fevered Sleep play variations on watery themes, as the characters’ responses reflect childhood’s delight in water doing such things as spurting in a fountain, or in having fun with plugs in the floor.

A yellow plastic duck serenely sails across the stage, returning with three ducklings in tow. A large multi-coloured umbrella rotates as a light shines through it from behind. A small paper boat appears and, with children’s delight in fitting objects in places they aren’t meant to go, it’s ‘sunk’ down a plug-hole.

Alongside such things, there’s an understanding of how children experience the world, the ‘story’ of their life being built from a series of sensory experiences, each being explored for its possibilities while it’s happening rather than being a link in a causal train.

And how children behave. A competitive element soon arises between the actors, there’s fun in giving each other (and the audience) a light dunking from twirling brollies as rain falls on them from above. Mutual splashing of course, and the key moment when one person decides the game’s growing too rough, says they do not like it, and backs away.

The other follows, smiling. It’s the moment when different ideas of fun reach the borderland of bullying, though such darker territory doesn’t happen here. This is a happy show, full of visual fun, its main sounds made by water, the comparatively rare human sounds mostly non-verbal responses to what the water’s doing.

Mostly, like bath—time for the very young (recall the little duck), it’s an opportunity for play. As is the weather. Eventually, young audience members are invited onstage and given their own plastic brollies. But by the time this planned audience involvement arrives, many have already started spontaneous participation, the front row joyously plashing their feet on the wet floor. And finally? The rain stops and coloured umbrellas form a rainbow arch over the smiling performers.

Performers: Carl Patrick, Karina Garnett.

Directors: David Harradine, Samantha Butler.
Designers: Ali Beale, David Harradine.
Lighting: Jo Manser.
Composer: David Leahy.
Assistant director: Tanya Roberts.

2011-02-28 11:28:38

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