Colourscape is more like a giant kaleidoscope than an exhibition. — a kaleidoscope into which you can wander and become one of its myriad constantly moving pieces. Children are invited to explore and feel the ever-changing shapes and colours. making it a very pleasing and highly unusual experience.
worth queuing for. Children (approx
3 years upwards) must be accompanied by an adult and barefoot. as well as being wrapped in a brightly coloured piece of material (which is provided). No running please! (Honorah Perry) Colourscape. East Meadows (venue 148) Until31 Aug. 12noon—Opm. Tickets at venue only [1.
THE RAGGED CHILD
The National Youth Music Theatre. a group ofvery talented 11-21 year olds. have a very high reputation at Edinburgh with some ten festival awards behind them.
The Ragged Child is a musical written by Artistic Director. Jeremy James Taylor. as a result of workshop sessions held at a school in Surrey over a period of several months. The children improvised on ideas arising from the theme of the ragged children in Victorian London. the victims of a rich and exploitative society who find a much needed champion in Lord Shaftesbury.
The company acquit themselves admirably in what is an impressively professional production. There are some convincing characterisations amongst the street-wise urchins and some of the staging is very satisfying. particularly of the Australian-bound boat. Despite this however. the material is not addressed in any new or original way and it fails to really engage any emotion until a powerful piece of imagery provides an unexpected and effective ending. (Sally Kinnes) The Ragged Child. National Youth Music Theatre. George Square Theatre, George Square. 0673704. 22 Aug, 2pm and 7pm. £4 (£2.50).
THE EMPERDH’S NEW CLOTHES AND THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE
An enthusiastic cast perform these two half hour shows about Hans Christian Anderson's completely
different emperors. Great care and
interest is taken in the design ofthe costumes which conveyed absolutely the ‘bringing to life‘ of both fairy tales. Forolder children. (llonorah Perry). The Emperor's New ('lothes and the limperor and the Nightingale. I.eic‘estershire Youth Theatre. St Ann 's ( ‘ommunity ( 'entre (venue ()5 ), South Grays ( 'lose. (‘owgate l/nti123Aug. 10am. [2 (£1.20)
Chances is a splendid musical by Iain MacDonald. beautifully performed by the large cast of the Forth Children‘s Theatre (iroup. It is set in Morovia. where neither of the two setsofinhabitants. Morons and Morovs. are particularly content.
A female (‘handleresque character conducts us through the play and Chance is the mediator. It is funny. clever and sad. A very professional production to be much enjoyed. For approx ll) years upwards. (llonorah Perry) ( ’hances. Forth ( 'hildren 's Theatre Group. Inverleith Church Hall. 41) Inverleith Gardens (venue 120) 21—2.? A ug, 7. 30pm; Sat 23 Aug. 2.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50).
SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT
Sir (iawain chops offthe head of the (ireen Knight to gasps ofdisbelief from the audience and then his adventure starts. Magic spells. tricks. huntsmen and animals (some real) were loved by the children. although the acting lacked finesse.
Most popular was the ‘knighting' of those in the audience who wished it. by inviting the children on stage. and who. after the reverent touch ofthe sword on the shoulder. left the theatre with pride. A good show for (>— 1 2 years approx. (llonorah Perry) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Oxford Theatre Group. Johnston Terrace Theatre. Johnston Terrace (venue 94). Tickets: 226 5985. Until 30 A ug (not Mons) 4. 15pm. £2.
PIPS AND PANDA MEET THE TOOTH FAIRY
Fluorescent puppets and scenery captivated the very young audience and their parents. Lively music. incorporating a selection from classical music to nursery rhymes. helped to encourage audience participation. Lasting one and a quarter hours with a fifteen minute interval. its delightful. For approx
2—9 years. (llonorah Perry).1’ips and
Panda Meet the Tooth Fairy. Purves
Puppets. Whyte Hall (venue 14) St George's West Church. Shandwick Place. 21. 22. 23 and 30 Aug, 10.30am; 25-29 Aug. 1.45pm.
SUPERMANUV AND THE TERRIBLYTER IFYING SECRET or THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER (II)
This is a fast funny piece in which a couple of bungling baddies in sunglasses and pin-stripes are particularly memorable. They are in the service of the Ugly Sisters and the plot is loosely based on the theme ofCinderella. into which Superman. Frankenstein and a couple of fairies have stumbled. The effect is funny. unexpected. musical and lively. but pitched perhaps a little above the head of the very young. Superman gives an engaging and energetic performance. failed by his Super-powers. but there are perhaps too many adult jokes. which leave the children behind. Best for approx 12—14 upwards. (Sally Kinnes) Superman ( I V) and the Terribly Terrifying Secret of the Frankenstein Monster (11) Oxford A CT. Theatre A ( "1‘ (venue 101) Riﬂe Lodge. 32 Broughton Street. Until 30Aug (not Mon 25) 4.30—5.30pm. £2.25 (£1.50) Tickets: 557 1 785.
A coiffeured be-ribboned puppet dog and a stripey-stockinged puppet fairy sit on the edge of their puppet booth and preside over the show. The witty and irreverent poems of Raold Dahl are narrated and acted with imaginative good humour and there are lots of familiar characters and some unfamiliar twists —- as when Little Red Riding Hood suddenly pulls a gun (from her knickers) and shoots the wolf. Altogether it is a lively funny show which held the attention of its young audience. (Sally Kinncs) Revolting Rhymes. ()pen Hand. Theatre Workshop. Run finished.
MADNESS AND MAYHEM AT MDUNTJDY MANOR
Madness and Mayhem at Mountioy Manor always kept its young audience uppermost in mind in this very funny play about stolen jewels and the Super-villain. There was slapstick. bungling. clever timing and a perfect understanding ofwhat appeals to the very young. The audience. largely under 10 years, squealed with delight as the two old ladies got into bed with the ghost they were seeking and the baddie was hissed with relish.
Well-scripted and enthusiastically acted. it was a highly enjoyable and well-conceived play.
Well-scripted and well-acted. it was a highly enjoyable and well-conceived play. (Sally Kinnes) Madness and Mayhem at Mountjoy Manor. Ragamuffin Theatre C0, Royal Scottish A cadem y of Music and Drama. Run ended.
Farewell to Jonathan is a gentle and thoroughly enjoyable musical about loss and leaving asJonathan. the young child in an Edwardian family. sets off for boarding school for the first time. He watches the family from behind a draped curtain after he is supposed to have gone to bed but remains excluded even when he is allowed to go in and say goodnight. As he tries to tell them his poem no one. least of all his mother. listens.
At the other end ofthe family. Jonathan's uncle Granville is coming home. although (iranville‘s father refuses to speak to him or have anything to do with him since he became an actor.
They are weighty themes. not entirely resolved in the structure ofa musical. but the charm of the piece are the character sketches. well summed up in scenes or phrases with wit and precision. The well-observed great uncle for example. who shares a chesse sandwich with the children in the potting shed which he divides up equally with a trowel. and Granville. his son. the ‘ac-TOR‘. As an acting member of the National Theatre himself. writer’director Tim Norton wrote the play form inside the head ofan actor. ‘As an actor one learns a way ofspeaking dialogue naturally. to hear the other characters voices in your mind' and wrote the dialogue very quickly.
‘The difficult part is the plot.’ He is a
former member ofthe National
Youth Music Theatre who
encodraged the production. (Sally
Kinnes) Farewell to Jonathan. Silver
Cloud Theatre Company. George
Square Theatre ( venue 3 7). George
Square. Tickets 6673 704. Until 23
Aug. 10am £2.50 (£1.50) 3
The List 22 Aug— 4 Sept 15