ANTARCTICA To 4 January.


by Little Bulb Theatre,

bac (Council Chamber) Lavender Hill SW11 5TN To 4 January 2015.
11am & 2.30pm.
Runs 1hr no interval.

TICKETS: 020 7223 2223.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 29 December.

Small is beautiful, even in a vast continent.
There must be something about the lure of the south that makes Antarctica so much attractive-sounding than its northern counterpart. We freeze at the mention of ‘arctic conditions’ while ‘Antarctic’ sounds a more pleasant opposite.

Probably never more enjoyable than in this show for 2-6s. So young is the audience that some members take the set and its several snowfalls as a delightful environment for individual exploration. There again intrepid Antarctican Sir Peregrine Falcon greets everyone as Brave Explorers before assigning groups particular tasks on the voyage (it’s worth turning-up ten minutes before the start-time to be involved in practising the Brave Antarctic Explorer greeting of a hearty salute accompanied by a lusty “Ahoy”).

Then there are the food providers (food already prepared), the crow’s-nest lookouts for “pesky birds”, one person much-applauded for bravely handing Sir P the Antarctic flag to place on the South Pole. And the general search among flopping seals, for the very rare Owlerbear – half-owl and half-bear – which keeps appearing briefly and looks splendid in white when it shows,

Our leader has the manner of an explorer several generations back – the country squire on ice – and is accompanied by an antique camera for photographing even pesky birds. In some strange way such old appurtenances continue iconic in contrast to the far more flexible advanced equipment of today’s technology.

But the show’s main delight is its drawing young people into a pristine world of belief, of times before global warming and oil exploitation down below. And, as Claire Beresford and Dominic Conway effortlessly populate the ice-world, Alex Scott’s Sir Peregrine encourages with bluff confidence. There’s room for humour with the polar creatures and also a sense of the bleak beauty in the place. Not least with the Owlerbear, who is a creature large yet so timid it must be greeted with the softest of voices to avoid its running away.

“Pesky birds!” goes up the shout as Sir Peregrine flaps his wings. "Was that me pretending to be a pesky bird?" he then asks. All agree, for there is belief in this white world at all levels.

Performers: Claire Beresford, Dominic Conway, Alex Scott.

Director: Alex Scott.
Designer: Verity Sadler.
Lighting: Tim Streader.
Owlerbear Mask: Cheryl Brown.

2014-12-31 00:42:03

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