The Fall Children
Weak storyline made up for by macabre, colourful underworld
This article is from 2011.
This sinister fairytale turns a place that young children fear to tread – under the bed - into a delightfully macabre underworld. A little girl awakes to find that she and her stuffed toy Caruso have fallen into this dark chasm. With the help of a menacing narrator, skilfully played by Lee White, it’s quickly clear that this tale is more Brothers Grimm than Disney.
But while there’s much to like in this ghoulish piece, it suffers from a misplaced sense of humour (a touch too dark for its 10.45am slot) and an incoherent narrative thread. We know the little girl is in danger but we’re never quite sure what from. This makes it difficult for the audience to cheer her on in her quest for escape – especially when the world in which she’s stuck is as visually striking as the one that unfolds here.
Indeed, where The Fall Children triumphs is in creating an attractive colour palette of costumes and puppets. Particularly spectacular is the glorious sock monster, the only figure that can save our heroine from an eternity spent under the bed. With a few songs thrown in too, it really is an interesting, innovatively choreographed piece of theatre for children – it’s just a shame the story isn’t any stronger.
Zoo Roxy, 662 6892, until 29 Aug, 10.45am, £8 (£6)