SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD
devised by Joy Haynes, Rachel Leonard, Andrew Nixon.
Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, off Cross Street Islington N1 2DN To 23 February.
10.30am 23, 30 Jan, 5, 6, 12, 13 Feb.
11am 8, 9, 15, 16, 19-23 Feb.
1pm 23, 30 Jan, 5, 6, 12-14 Feb.
1.30pm 22, 29 Jan.
2pm 25, 26 Jan, 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 19-23 Feb.
4.30pm 25, 26 Jan, 1, 2, Feb.
5pm 22, , 24, 29, 31 Jan, 7, 14 Feb.
Relaxed performance 2pm 25 Jan.
Baby Friendly performances (no lower age-limit) 11am 9, 16, 23 Feb.
Runs 1hr 15min One interval.
then tour 7 March-18 April 2014.
TICKETS: 020 7226 1787.
www.littleangeltheatre.com (Little Angel performances).
Review: Timothy Ramsden 20 December.
Imaginative originality with a focus on visual moments.
There’s more of Sleeping Beauty than of wood here. This revived, revised version of a Little Angel show focuses on moments in the story, expanded with visual flair, while others are almost shrugged through (accounts from the press performance might exaggerate this owing to as a technical failure which denied the image of Princess Briar Rose, on her 15th birthday, pricking a finger and falling into sleep).
Yet other aspects of the story have a technical ingenuity, and, despite little on motives there’s a clear sense of character. In the cases of royal parents, Reggie and Gwendolen, this is comic. Queen Gwen is told, whilst taking a bath, that their looked-for offspring (tactfully discussed in bed) will be coming; the annunciation comes not from an angel, little or big, but a colourful crab who expects a kiss in return – though we never see his inner prince emerge.
The show shows, in short, the characteristics of a piece devised by its director/designer and original cast. Arran Glass replaces Andrew Nixon for this production, and brings with him a new sound, creating a score variously creating a serious atmosphere and gentle rhythmic drive.
There’s also ingenious use of the set – ‘Sleeping Beauty in the castle’ might be a more topographically accurate title as Briar Rose – her parents suddenly departed – explores the staircases and rooms around the place. Seemingly-innocent drawers come from the furniture to form a number of animations displaying activities in various rooms, while drawers and books can also be totteringly piled to show the old stairs Rose climbs to reach the palace extremities and her somnolent fate.
It’s the more poignant because she’s been seen as a lively teenager, with fits of the sulks maybe, but also an innocent vanity in a new dress. And it makes the happy end all the happier. Throughout, Joy Haynes’ direction shows attention to detail and both puppeteers are expert while also showing a strong sense of performance. Glass particularly brings a strong vocal contribution to a revival which will enrich young people’s theatrical spring around the country when it goes no tour.
Performers: Arran Glass, Rachel Leonard.
Director/Designer: Joy Haynes.
Lighting: David Duffy.
Music: Arran Glass.
Puppets: Jan Zalud.
7 March 11am & 1pm Tricycle Theatre Kilburn 020 7329 1000 www.tricycle.co.uk
8 March 11.30am &2.30pm Vera Fletcher Hall Thames Ditton 0844 884 8832.
9 March 11am & 2pm Arts Depot Barnet 020 8369 5454 www.artsdepot.co.uk
15 March 11am & 2pm Half Moon Theatre 020 7709 8900 www.halfmoon.org.uk
16 March 11.30am & 2.30pm Cambridge Junction J2 01223 511511 www.junction.co.uk
22 March 2pm & 3pm Canada Water Culture Space 020 8692 4446
23 March 1pm & 3pm The Albany, Deptford 020 8692 4446 www.thealbany.org.uk
27 March 10am & 1pm Burnley Youth Theatre 01282 458655 www.burnleyyouththeatre.org
28-29 March Fri 1-.45am & 1.30pm Sat 11am & 1.30pm The Edge Chorlton Manchester 0161 282 9776 www.edgetheatre.co.uk
30 March 12.30pm Citadel St. Helen’s 01744 73543 www.citadel.org.uk
5 April 11.30am & 3pm Stratford Circus London 0844 357 2625 www.stratford-circus.com
6 April 12pm & 3pm Jackson’s Lane Highgate 020 8341 4421 www.jacksonslane.org.uk
8-12 April 2.30pm Mat Thu & Fri 11am Norwich Puppet Theatre 01603 639921 www.puppettheatre.co.uk
14 -15 April 11am & 1.30pm Royal Albert Hall (Elgar Room) London 0845 401 5034 www.royalalberthall.com
17 April 11.30am & 2pm Norden Farm Maidenhead 01628 788997 www.nordenfarm.org
18 April 2pm Gulbenkian Theatre Canterbury 01227 769075 www.thegulbenkian.co.uk