The Girl With No Heart (2 stars)

This article is from 2012

The Girl With No Heart

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 journeys to a white-washed barren place full of ash where she meets a strange boy named Ike. With a paper set, white costumes and paper-based puppets, the production aims to literally bring the book to life.

The young company experiments with inventive and quirky visuals to achieve some lovely moments – a fluttering downpour of confetti, a cheeky origami lizard – though some props fail to dazzle. Similarly Ike, performed by two actors and a puppet, is at times winningly lifelike, particularly when he’s being stroppy, while at others the actors are distracting. A story needs more than paper and words to really take flight and, though sweet, The Girl with No Heart doesn’t quite reach the levels of enchantment for which it strives.

Bedlam Theatre, 225 9893, until 25 Aug (not 13), 5pm, £8 (£6).

The Girl With No Heart - Trailer from Sparkle and Dark

The Girl With No Heart

  • 2 stars

Their city is made of paper, as are their hearts. The children seek to rebuild an ash-filled world by folding one paper brick at a time. A world where a child's heart holds the power for immeasurable good or unimaginable destruction. The show focuses on the fragility and frustration of children surrounded by a war beyond…

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2. ivanovich9 Aug 2012, 10:39am Report

I felt this was a very deeply moving and topical story, excellently executed. It was clear to me that the paper world is based on the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Evidence that the audience generally has understood the significance of the origami link with the devastating consequence of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan is reflected in other reviews, which have deservedly rated it four and a half stars!

3. ivanovich9 Aug 2012, 9:46am Report

I wonder whether Suzanne Black actually saw this play? Evidence that the audience, including myself, do understand the significance of the Hiroshima link and the origami is reflected in 'thepublicreviews', which have given it four and a half stars. Why doesn't Suzanne know that the barren environment full of ash is the devastating consequence of the atomic bombing of Japan? I thought 'The List' was usually more on the ball than this review indicates.

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