Wales Theatre Reviews

Chapter, Cardiff , December 20, 2012

This was audience participation, as you may not know it. The nearest potential stage ‘invader’ to me was twenty months old but the ringleader was some few months younger. The stage with its delicate snow covered effect was very inviting. And I am sure that the gentle gentleman entrancing these babes with his captivating story telling and mime would have welcomed the intruders up on to the stage with him. The well-disciplined mothers held their exploring toddlers back so that all the little ones could sit and really appreciate this extraordinary theatre performance, especially devised for the very young.  

This perfect introduction to live theatre was created with the support of Small Size, the European Network for the diffusion of performing arts for early years. Director Sarah Argent has won awards for her work on young people’s drama but this was her first foray into the world of these earliest of years. The fact that she has struck just the right note was clearly visible in the wide-eyed expressions on the faces of children watching. The reactions of the small children were equally as engaging as the performance on the stage which was pitched perfectly by actor Kevin Lewis, moonlighting from his ‘day-job’ as Artistic Director of the eclectic Theatre Iolo.

Most well-known playwrights including the greatest of them all, William Shakespeare staring at a blank piece of paper, asked to write a play for viewers between six and eighteen months would, I am sure have gone on staring. This collaboration between these two very caring artists could not be bettered.

At the end of the twenty minute performance the young detectives were invited to raid the stage to examine and discover in more details the images that they had been shown, again it was hard to calculate which part of the proceedings they enjoyed the most.

Reviewed by Michael Kelligan