FESTIVAL 9am—1pm continued
KIDS REVIEW Matilda ****
Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival's bi- lingual adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic is absorbing and engaging stuff for its young audience.
With their rag doll wigs and sepia- toned costumes, the eighteen-strong cast of well-spoken young Chinese and Western actors are a tightly disciplined bunch, but don't suffer from the kind of self-consciousness which ruins many a promising young am-dram production.
The original music complements the
N ICHOLA MCAULIFFE 8: STEFAN BEDNARCZYK
by KIT HESKETH- HARVEY
with Maria St. Just
Directed by SCOTT WILLIAMS
VENUE 47 0 CAFE ROYAL 0 17 WEST REGISTER STREET August 12~30 0 daily 11.15am 0 £5.00 (Conc. £4.00)
theatre 0 dance 0 comedy - kids
action very well, and the direction is inventive. Using actors as props can be distracting, but usually works well. Matilda and Miss Honey are perhaps a little too smug and sweet respectively, but Trunchbull and Matilda's father are both suitably monstrous and loathsome, respectively. (Gabe Stewart) I Matilda (Fringe) Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival, Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606, until 22 Aug (not 16) noon, £5 (£3).
This is a play about the loss of innocence, a journey to knowledge through dreams and, as director
Matlldo: monstorously good 1m
Richard Hayhow says, a 'fairly surreal story line'. The Shysters are a group of actors with learning difficulties who devised Scary Antics from personal perceptions and experience, and this is their first full-scale professional run.
It takes you on a visual joyride, using colour, masks, voiceovers and music; the play was accepted by The Green Room in Manchester on the strength of the photographs alone. The actors have no lines, relying instead on the power of their physical presence and facial expressions to convey the emotion and the story. The music is another powerful element; a critic has described it as a ’soundtrack to slash your wrists to’. ’This play is a complete experience; it’s mesmeric,’ says Hayhow. ‘It will pull you in.‘
l Scary Antics (Fringe) The Shysters, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 4366, 17-21 Aug, 11.30am, £5.50 (£3.50).
Pooh And Piglet Meet The Heffalump Again ****
Following on the heels of last year’s hit, Richard Medrington again takes on the mantle of AA Milne and welcomes us into his magical dusty attic in order to tell us a story before bedtime.
THE RED PEAR THEATRE COMPANY 0 it 0 ANTIBES
Tel: 0131 556 2549
Medrington perfectly combines the offhand dry humour and sophisticated charm of the English middle classes of that era, with a genuine affection for each character: confused Pooh, exuberant Tigger, terminally depressed Eeyore, super-organised Rabbit and panic-struck Piglet.
A little unnecessarily complicated in parts, but the children were transfixed by his style, which in its gentle unassuming way is reminiscent of Alan Bennett. (Gabe Stewart)
I Pooh And Piglet Meet The Heffalump Again (Fringe) Richard Medrington’s Puppets, Netherbow (Venue 30) 556 9579, until 30 Aug (not 15, 22) 12.30pm, £4.50 (£3.50).
DANCE REVIEW The Ballad Of Branwell Bronte/Medea"
Edinburgh-based dancer Jonathan Burnett tackles two tempestuous, Gothic pantomime solos with equal amounts of old-fashioned energy and deliberate production value tat. Speaking in orotund tones through a fragment of Ovid (translated by Nathan Tate circa 1694), his Medea undergoes an onstage transformation from pirate to destruction-fuelled, tinsel-encrusted queen. Set to a Liszt piano sonata, Burnett's version of Wuthering Heights is filtered through his incarnation of
the amitie’ Amoureuse of Tennessee Williams and Maria 5t. just
82 TIIEUS‘I’ 12-19Auo 1999