Twine (4 stars)

This article is from 2009


Moving tale of twine-made being brewed in a teapot

Riddles Court off the Royal Mile makes a suitably atmospheric location for the first Fringe show from Edinburgh-based children’s theatre company, Tortoise in a Nutshell. Their tale – in which a group of tea and cupcake-loving storytellers inadvertently create Twine, a speechless being made entirely out of string – is an intricate brew of the clownish and the mysterious, and a tender meditation on the importance of feeling at home.

Using puppetry, music and vivid storytelling, these imaginative performers transport the audience from their quirky home, into which we’re generously welcomed, to the various worlds that Twine travels through. Occasionally, the story loses its narrative thread in favour of concentrating on more eccentric turns, but this is made up for by the rich sensory details that pepper the action. When Twine finds himself tossed into a deep ocean, silky blues, violets and ultramarines erupt out of a basket in a mesmerising tangle on stage.

The ultimate result is a calming, dream-like atmosphere that proves this company understands what it takes to make a memorable and engaging children’s show that transcends age barriers.

Diverse Attractions, 225 8962, until 29 Aug (not 23), 11.45am, £5 (£3.50)


  • 4 stars

Stories are brewing, adventures served and the tales taste delicious. Butone mistake and everything begins to unravel. Puppetry and live action mix toweave the enthralling story of onerope boy'sjourney to find his place.