Mildred and the Midnight City
Adventurous children's theatre piece that feels a little crowded
This article is from 2014.
There are plenty of understated heroics in HookHitch Theatre's overly quaint tale of a little woman who has adventure thrust upon her. And there is plenty of puppetry, involving clever duel-screen shadow projectors, a peculiarly poodle-like Polar Bear and a disarmingly blank-faced heroine.
Mildred is a humdrum cog in the wheel of Mumblecrunch industries, scraping the spare plastic from the handles of screwdrivers in order to generate heat in her future world where the ice is spreading. Silently in love with Henry but mostly just going home to hang out with her cat, and watch nature programmes on the TV.
The nine-strong cast zip through Mildred's tale as she is sent off alone on her perilous quest to save the people of Juniper's Edge. Along the way she befriends a carnivorous polar bear and discovers that Mr Mumblecrunch is villainous through and through.
This has all the makings of a great piece of children's theatre, with multitasking actors, live music, an environmental message of sorts and big, explosive ending. Yet, even as the actors and puppets mix, crowding into the tight space, it feels that they are trying too hard and have too many different elements on the go.
A clearer, simpler telling would have been much more memorable.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 11.45am, £7--£9 (£6.50--£8).