Beards! Beards! Beards!
Tale of empowerment falls short of the mark
After last year's exceptional show, The Bookbinder, hopes were high that New Zealand's Trick of the Light company had something else tasty up its sleeve. Sadly, and somewhat bafflingly, this proves not to be the case.
A cracking opening number replete with laughs whets the audience's appetite for what is to come, only to find us slowly lowering our expectations when that early potential fails to deliver.
Young Beatrix lives with her two dads, both of whom are expert barbers. Yet neither of them can give her what she really wants – a beard. And so begins a journey of discovery, whereupon Beatrix meets some of the great beards in history, including: Charles Darwin, Confucius and Abraham Lincoln. But without any real context or explanation of who they are, much of this feels esoteric for a young audience.
To gain access to these hirsute men, Beatrix steps inside a magical doorway, which becomes formulaic after a while. All of which is a crying shame, as the central idea is a strong one – in particular, Beatrix' discovery that to achieve greatness she just needs confidence in her own abilities, not facial hair. By the time that message arrives, however, many of the restless bums on seats have lost interest.
Assembly Roxy, until 28 Aug (not 15, 22), 4.15pm, £10 (£8).