Little Red Kettle celebrated 20 years of children’s theatre with a behind-the-scenes look at how they gather forty or so young people and set about the fun process of making a show and making happiness and memories.
A lot of young people who are trying to start out in acting are using a new language to recreate old myths and I am meeting creative people who want to be theatre makers rather than playwrights and performers who want to be actors and actresses and grow in the process.
Little Red Kettle facilitate this process this new buzz, this new energy and they achieve that in a wonderful way that is very free of jargon or social engineering.
Characters still say “cool” and “I’ll bust your head” as they share a process of making theatre and in The girl That Turned Into A Deer that journey is shared with an audience eager for adventure. At this show at Garter Lane my sense of adventure, my sense of fun, magic and exploration was gloriously restored.
Eadaoin Power was the girl who turned into a deer and Kerenza Corcoran-Murphy was the girl who did the funny pre-announcements about exits and the like.
Using video and screens and puppetry and shadow puppets (Sinéad Fox made the excellent shadow puppets) to add another dimension to Ben Hennessy’s text and Liam Meagher’s fantastic direction.
The ancient Fionn Mac Cumhaill story of Sive the shape-changer who turned into a deer or vice versa got a 2011 update as a video clip showed a Bambi deer becoming Cheryl Cole. Jan O’Sullivan conducted a series of theatre games, ice-breakers and improvisations that explored the notion of Transformation and during the performance we saw many transformations and life-enhancing moments.
Before your eyes characters took shape and improvs became scripted moments and you even felt the rejection as a scene of warriors and dragons heads was cut to the annoyance of a Wardrobe Mistress and the disappointment of the cast.
By now I was well into the story and a monster/demon sequence was brilliant and spectacle. This production took me back thirty years and a thousand years or more besides and I envied these young performers their sense of fun and discovery.