Fringe preview: The Bookbinder

This article is from 2015

Fringe preview: The Bookbinder

Neil Gaiman-esque magical tale for children aged 8+

New Zealand theatre company Trick of the Light were last at the Fringe in 2012 with The Road That Wasn't There. This year, they're returning with The Bookbinder, a dark, magical tale best suited to slightly older children (8+).

Director Hannah Smith tells us more: 'The Bookbinder is an original fable about a bookbinder’s apprentice who ignores good advice and then must pay the consequences. He makes a mistake and finds himself bound into one of his books, in which he battles internal and external demons in order to put right the things he has done wrong.'

Drawing influences from authors Neil Gaiman, Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones, The Bookbinder is told through shadow puppetry and narrated by Ralph McCubbin Howell. Its centrepiece is an intricately designed pop-up book that audiences have loved in performances to date.

'At the end of the show,' Smith says, 'we always have people coming up wanting to get a closer look at the pop-up book, or the eagle shadows, and they are astounded by how lo-fi the mechanism is. Theatre can’t compete with film when it comes to making something realistic – but what theatre can do that film can’t is transform something ordinary into the extraordinary right in front of your eyes.'

Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, 8–31 Aug (not 17, 24), 1.40pm, £9–£7. Previews 6 & 7 Aug, £6.

The Bookbinder

  • 4 stars

Trick of the Light Theatre They say you can get lost in a good book. But it's worse to get lost in a bad one… From award-winning company Trick of the Light Theatre comes a story of mystery, magic and mayhem. Inspired by the works of Chris Van Allsburg and Neil Gaiman, The Bookbinder weaves shadowplay, paper art, puppetry…