I have a confession dear readers; I am one of those perpetually late people. I really struggle to get anywhere on time and generally only make it to shows by the skin of my teeth (sorry boss!), but this one is different. This time I am prepared, we leave with plenty of time and have one of those wonderful, stress-free journeys where Hetty (6) and I enjoy lots of interesting discussions. (I blew her mind by revealing the internet didn’t exist like it does now when I was her age.) So we arrive with plenty of time and I’m feeling totally serene UNTIL I notice that I’ve left my bike lock at home. Goodbye serenity, hello panic. Fortunately the lovely people at the Wardrobe Theatre let me leave my bike inside. Phew! Anyways, on with the review …
Our host, the eccentric and wide-eyed Kronos ushers us into the wonderful Wardrobe Theatre, which I’d like to take a moment to appreciate. I’ve been to this venue a fair few times since it opened as I live pretty close and it’s become my favourite for a number of reasons: The quality of the performances seems to outstrip the prices every time; It’s also great for children and the vertically challenged (ahem) as the seating is steeply arranged for good viewing; The staff are always very friendly; and the food and drink is wonderful.
The eponymous attic is filled with boxes and each of these boxes contains a tale worthy of telling. Kronos makes it quite clear that this isn’t *actually* his attic, mainly through the medium of slapstick but also by encouraging us to pretend to be pigeons. The show comprises three very different yet complimentary stories told by three different storytellers, each involving an epic quest, as so many good stories do. All three in the mould of classic fairytales, yet also with a contemporary twist.
Our first tale, of the three feathers, is told by the twinkly-eyed Steph Kempson, who by the way hosts the brilliant adult storytelling night Sharp Teeth, also at the Wardrobe. Her story is atmospheric, funny and the singing frogs go down very well. This is Hetty’s favourite story of the three and she thanks Steph personally at the end.
Next up is a story from our friend Kronos (Adam Blake) that has everything: love, evil fairy queens, illicit kisses, zombie slaves and (SPOILER ALERT) a happily ever after. Plus my inner baby feminist is extremely happy that the main character is saved by his lady love. Much more realistic than most fairytales.
Adam Fuller takes us on our final journey, and this one seems to be a favourite with the audience, possibly because it involves food, which always goes down well with my children at any rate. I certainly find it the most moving of the three and it contains the beautiful wisdom that “grief and happiness can live side by side”.
Although this show is aimed at 3-8 years it’s thoroughly enjoyable for all ages. These three gifted storytellers are perfectly augmented by some talented musicians who add an extra touch of immersion to the already very engaging tales. As Hetty says “I LOVED it!”
Find out what else is on at The Wardrobe Theatre here
Visit Open Attic Company’s website here