Reviews & features: Kids, Suzanne Black

13 reviews

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Esio Trot

16 Aug 20134 stars

Delightful Roald Dahl adaptation by Cambridge students

Roald Dahl’s tale of two lonely people brought together by a tortoise was adapted for the stage by Cambridge University’s Ryan Ammar and brought to Edinburgh by the Uni’s ADC Theatre. The script bolsters the slight story by amping up the villainy and…

Handmade Tales

11 Aug 20134 stars

Young company, Tap Tap Theatre, excels at storytelling enchantment

Tap Tap Theatre sprung into existence last year, created by University of Bristol students, and has quickly garnered an enviable repuation. This year they have three shows at the Fringe: Captain Morgan and the Sands of Time, Men and Handmade Tales…

I Believe in Unicorns

9 Aug 20133 stars

Storytelling with a serious message

The former children's laureate and writer of over 100 books, Michael Morpurgo returns to two of his recurring themes – the horrors of wartime and the majesty of the equine breed – in this 2005 story about the importance of storytelling. The action takes…

Superhero Snail Boy

8 Aug 20133 stars

A zig-zagging emotional journey through comedy and tragedy

Penned by Elizabeth Muncey for Vertical Line Theatre, Superhero Snail Boy is a multi-headed beast. After an upbeat start we are introduced to a cabal of troubled characters in a series of vignettes. There's the bullied boy, the neglected girl, the…

I Knew a Man Called Livingstone

8 Aug 20133 stars

Historic Scot recalled from an African perspective

Victorian celebrity, Scotsman, missionary doctor, abolitionist, capitalist and explorer of Africa, 2013 marks the bicentenary of David Livingstone's birth. Toto Tales specialises in African forms of storytelling and presents some of the notable episodes…

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War of the Worms

6 Aug 20132 stars

Richard Digance and duaghter in sing-a-long storytelling that falls foul of fact

Father and daughter team Richard and Rosie Digance narrate and sing their way through a tale of the humble worm and its role in nature – with an emphasis on the smelly. With Richard on guitar duty, and Rosie reading the story, they make for amiable…

The Girl With No Heart

6 Aug 20122 stars

Children's storybook on loss of innocence fails to come to life

The Girl with No Heart is based on a short story book written by performer Louisa Ashton. A children’s parable about the loss of innocence, Sparkle and Dark’s Travelling Players use puppetry, silhouettes and origami to narrate the tale of a girl who…

The White Dalmatian

12 Aug 20103 stars

Fairytale musical with a twist

Little Claire gets a special new stuffed toy for her birthday, Dalmatian Polkadot, but one of her old toys, Witch, is jealous. She magics Dalmatian’s spots to Fairyland and all the other toys have to journey there to retrieve them. In this musical…

The Railway Children

12 Aug 20103 stars

A classic revisited

Rather than cater to contemporary children’s experiences, Sell a Door Theatre Company has gone for a faithful rendition of a classic. E. Nesbit’s well-loved tale of Mrs Waterbury and her three children, who are forced to move to the country while her…

Jungle Book: The Next Chapter

9 Aug 20102 stars

Monkeying around with Kipling’s classic

Rudyard Kipling’s fables are part of the collective national psyche, so this follow-up from Glenn Elston and the Australian Shakespeare Company has a lot to live up to. The story picks up when Mowgli, now grown, returns to the jungle to visit Baloo.

Puppet show round-up from the Edinburgh Festival

16 Aug 2009

Rounding up the best acts made of socks, sponges and foam

Puppetry acts are the black sheep of the performing arts family: indulged but not held in serious regard. Shitty Deal Puppet Theatre Company’s Oh! What a Shitty War (●●) recounts the history of warfare with hand puppets. Mistaking the charmingly…

Doctor Austin and Doug Safety's Time-Tastical Time Tale

16 Aug 20092 stars

It’s science Jim, but not as we know it

Time travel is a gift to fiction writers, but when it comes to the facts, even Doctor Who had to resort to describing it as ‘a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff’. Dr Austin and Doug Safety have set themselves a hard task. Starting with…

Lucy Hawking

19 Jul 2007

What do you do when your father is one of the world’s most respected theoretical physicists, author of the bestseller A Brief History of Time and you want to be a writer? The answer was obvious to Lucy Hawking, daughter of Stephen: write a book…