WHATEVER THE WEATHER
by Gilly Baskeyfield.
Polka Theatre (Adventure Theatre) 240 The Broadway Wimbledon SW19 1SB To 19 April 2015.
Wed-Fri 10.35am & 2.05pm.
Fri-Sun 11.05 & 2.35pm.
Runs 45min No interval.
TICKETS: 020 8543 4888.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 11 April.
Play of the weather brings people together.
Pity 104-year olds, no longer among the “3 to 103” audiences for M6 theatre’s delightful show, ending its tour at Polka (though they might qualify as family, alongside younger relatives). Like all high quality young people’s theatre, it’s as rich and complex as mainstream drama – and considerably less self-important about it.
What adults can deduce, and might still respond to with feeling, is what the young end of the age range will find resonates naturally with their own emerging experience of life and other people. Here are two people, different not because one is a woman, the other a man – that’s the obvious point. But because they are temperamentally different.
As usual with young people’s theatre, this innate difference is expressed through external, observable things. And nothing, in M6’s Rochdale home – or the rest of Britain for that matter – is more obviously observable and mood-affecting than the weather.
Mr Rain and Mrs Sunshine are figures in a Swiss-chalet weather gauge, resembling a cuckoo-clock. According to the weather, one is always out, the other always in. Let’s suppose, says a voice, they become human. Suddenly, what’s mechanical and automatic becomes suffused with human temperament. Objects and behaviour natural to one puzzle the other. Suddenly they have to deal with an environment affected by the other as each handles things their own way.
Designer Joss Matzen creates a pretty picture of a set, which might be from a child’s picture-book (and indeed has gone into one; in a reverse of the usual process of basing a children’s play on a well-known book, M6 has created an attractive book from their play).
Adam Carrée’s lighting marks the contrast between rain and shine and while the idea of a little man and a little woman described as telling the weather is hardly borne out as Carl Cockram towers above Simone Lewis, the important point is that both perform with a direct, unthreatening clarity that makes this a rewarding reflection upon relationships, making the best of a situation, co-operating rather than hitting angrily out and other matters that fall within the climate of early experience.
Mr Rain: Carl Cockram.
Mrs Sunshine: Simone Lewis.
Voice Over: Caroline Kennedy.
Director: Gilly Baskeyfield.
Designer: Joss Matzen.
Lighting/Video: Adam Carrée.
Composer: Jon Nicholls.