WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
by Marcello Chiarenza and Patrick Lynch music by Carlo Capelli.
Unicorn Theatre (Clore Theatre) To 27 December 2009.
24 Dec 10.30am, 12pm, 2.30pm.
26-27 Dec 2.30pm.
Runs 45min No interval.
TICKETSL 020 7645 0560.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 23 December.
Life as an awfully big adventure.
They grow up quickly, Lyngo Theatre’s audiences. Last week at the Unicorn Egg & Spoon took a simple approach to life for 1-3s. But Wonderful World, for 2-5s, introduces the Collective Unconscious of people’s dreams. And if you’re old enough to notice that the Unconscious is a large pillow-case, stuffed with dreams of cotton-wool, you’ll be an accompanying adult, and well aware of the importance of dreams, and the notion of a Collective Unconscious.
It’s apt, therefore, that the audience’s participation in Wonderful World should often be shared by young children and adults – at one point the young people blowing on the leaves their adults drop, creating a windswept autumnal fall.
The usual, embarrassing idea of “audience participation”, by the way, is entirely inappropriate for this joint venture, in which adults help children develop their wonderful world, nature created and celebrated by a series of theatrical tricks (the hand-held birdsong devices an especial treat) made ‘real’ by interaction with young people’s perceptions and experiences of the world around.
As the audience places rocks, and a dream-train of children is formed (a sleeper, naturally), their new companions waving them goodbye with handkerchiefs; as dream-fish are shared, a pond created from a mirror and surrounding rocks, the care put into the detail of this new-created world, down to an audience-created wood-fire crackle, becomes the point: treat the world well and it will treat you well.
Nature’s cruelty isn’t on display; there’s plenty of time for that later in life. The clue to what it’s all about is there for adults as Patrick Lynch looks for Copenhagen on the soft-ball globe he’s about to pass round for everyone to hug (what would be sentimental in adult drama is entirely – well, natural, here). For the young people though, it’s not a theme, but an experience
Phrases thrown out for adults (they feel included too) include “emotional baggage” – for the train-trip. This show provides the best form of such luggage, and the careful respect given to the young audience-members is reflected in the concentration with which they become involved in making this Wonderful World.
Necessity: Airlie Scott.
Mr Armstrong: Patrick Lynch.
Director: Patrick Lynch.
Designer: Elena Marini.