Festival Kids

We can only guess how many hours he puts into designing and creating his sets and puppets and then be thankful that he does. Tiny doors open to reveal hidden animals. flaps are lowered to transform a forest into a beautiful cottage and puppets appear in all shapes and sizes each lovingly crafted by hand. As the three tales unfold - Goldilocks. Three Little Pigs and Billy Goats Gruff you never know what‘s going to appear next. or from where. Lawrence himself is an immensely likeable performer who engages the entire audience. young and old. (Kelly Apter)

I Scottish Storytelling Centre, 556 9579, until 23 Aug (not 70 <3 77). 7 7am, £7.50 (£5).

CLOOKHEART BOY Stylish, heart-rending tale 0..

There's an important piece missing from the Professor's puzzle: his daughter Sophie disappeared 28 years ago while out walking on the beach. Luckily. he's got an energetic bunch of eccentric pals living in his castle to help with the search and assist in his experiments. which include fitting a clock in the empty chest of a poor. heartless boy . . . Dumbshow’s patchwork fantasy draws on everything from the Frankenstein myth to Coppelia to create this stylish. melancholic fantasy. The script is a bit meandering and wordy for very young children. and all the rushing ar0und onstage by the ensemble cast gets a bit frantic at times. But the bright. punky costumes and mournful piano soundtrack create a heightened other-wordly atmosphere. while the story of Sophie's disappearance and its aftermath is sweet and engaging. (Allan Radcliffe) I C Chambers Street. 0845 260 7234. until 76 Aug. 3. 75pm, 87.50—59.50 (85.50—88.50).


Delicious children's theatre COO

Lilting music. flowing costumes and expressive choreography are the chief characteristics of The Apple Tree Maiden. a show that features no dialogue. Instead. the characters mime and dance their way through the action-packed show. Swirling music in the opening scene serves as an introduction for our hero. 8 Curly- haired prince sleeping on a tall throne. woken by a girl tempting him with an apple. But each time he takes one. she disappears.

play has ai‘ etl‘erea: duality. that appeals to both 'Jarents and c’iiidren aiike. i'Tl‘.er(>s;;t Muno/i I Gilded Balloon Tel/lot. (568 7633. until l7Aur'. Noon. £748.50 l.‘\()\—.(\7.5(),l.


Astrological antics 000

Quirky and educat:cna . Alvinal Olympics explores how Chinese astrology begar‘. Fi'z‘incesca Beard. known for nor performance poetry puts a of of energy into i)()'il'€i\,’|li§} the 12 anaiitas of the Chinese zodiac as (IUTIOtifS :ridividtiais. After slipphg on her ‘mag c pants and t)()(2()l‘.‘!.’ig her alter ego Me.—Lin. she iaysz shiny bitie sheet over a table to represent a river.

As legend goes. the first twelve animals that crossed I.".(1- river would form the Chi'iese calendar. Front a night red box. Beard pulls out a series of stuffed ai‘iina's: a rat. an ox. a tiger. a dragon. a sheep. a monkey . . . and a

cat? As c-ac." ('i"!".i£tl telis their story.

Their delightful flirting contlnues Lintii they are discovered by a ii()l'l'li)l(} paddy who uses her powers to steal the princes crown and take over the castle. How Will the prince and apple tree maiden restore his kingdom? Throughout the show. the cast communicate effectively with each other thrOugh mime. Lightning. thunder and sOunds of rushing water create a lovely woodland atmosphere. and the


One man’s moving memories

Putting a target age range on a show’s publicity material never guarantees who you’ll find in the audience. But when the producers of The Mozart Question say suitable for ages 8+, you really ought to listen to them - because this is not a show for little ones. In fact, it's more likely to appeal to adults, or at least those who have reached the dizzy heights of ten and oven

Written by former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo, The Mozart Question is the moving tale of a virtuoso violinist. A man whose glittering career has taken him to concert halls around the world but who will never, ever play Mozart. As this superbly acted one-man show unfolds, we slowly learn the heartbreaking reason for his obstinate behaviour: a tale of life in Nazi Germany that brings a tear to the eye.

Switching between violinist Paolo Levi as a young boy and a 50-year-old man, his parents and their friend, Andrew Bridgmont plays each character with a subtle clarity, conveying a range of emotions. Unlike last year’s Morporgo adaptation, Aesop’s Fables, this extended monologue relies solely on Bridgmont’s performance to carry it through. No colourful sets and costumes, no songs. Not that they’re needed, but sadly missed if you’re six years old. Which is why for once, it pays to take heed of the age range advice. (Kelly Apter)

I Assembly ’0‘ George Street. (523 (9030, until 95 Aug met 1 ii. 12. l5pm. {Tl l—Fl2 (YO—5‘10).

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Beard adopts a series of funny voices and bends the toys' limbs into human- like postures. A little slow to start and lacking in humour at times. energetic songs and frequent audience participation still conspire to make this an eiiioyable show. iTheresa Munoz) I Assembly .02 George Street. 623 3030. until 2:3 Aug wot i ii. i 7.30am. 510—53 it) 438479;.


Music with a message

When it comes to being environmentally friendly. people are full of good intentions. But few of us follow through quite so impressively as the Kenodeke Arts Collective. Their new show. Let The Earth Breathe not only sends out a positive message about boing green. they actively practise what they preach.

'We're a 100% recycled company.' explains Jessica Raine of Kenodeke. 'So every prop or costume we use all come from the rubbish dump. And we're hoping to use a bicycle to power the lights and get the kids to help out with peddhng.’

Featuring a host of live musicians drawn from America and Spain. the show centres around a tiny seed struggling to grow in an over-filled rubbish tip. Once some space is cleared. it starts to flourish with a little help from the elements taka y0u. the audiencer The message is clear. but delivered in a lively. entertaining way. As Raine says: “It's just about everyone doing their own little bit to respect the earth were living on.’ (Kelly Apter)

I Acoustic Music Centre (a) St Brides. (3-16 7405. 7—24 Aug. 7.30pm (7—8.

1 1—1:") (82 18—23 Aug): 2.30pm (9— 70. lo— 1 7 8 2-4 Aug). 538 (84—26).