Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Fun, interactive introduction to Shakespeare’s best known plays and characters. Great for adults, even better for kids of all ages.
It’s a bright, sunny and even moderately warm Edinburgh day but toil and trouble is brewing down in the gardens at C South’s picturesque Lutton Place venue. In fact, it looks like a real storm is about to begin.
But this storm is just a blue plastic sheet, waggled with wonderful enthusiasm by three energetic actors, aided and abetted by members of their young audience. For this is Shakespeare for Kids : Toil and Trouble, an exploration-cum-workshop aimed firmly at those perhaps not too familiar with the Bard’s scribblings, but who’d like to learn a bit more about them in a fun way.
Full-on fun this proved to be, too, with C Theatre’s finest engaging and involving the small (both physically and numerically) group of young people from the off through singing, dancing, even speaking a few simple lines (with the occasional interjection from Mum and Dad).
Scene samples were well chosen, involving some of Shakespeare’s best known characters, including Titania, Caliban, Bottom, several mischievous Witches and a particularly mercurial Puck. Throw some nicely executed physical theatre into the mix (everyone loves watching other people falling over or bumping into each other) and you’ve the recipe for a very watchable forty-five minutes if you are in the adult camp or plain fun and frolics if not. One wee tot was utterly captivated from start to finish, happy to leave Mum and Dad watching as she leapt on stage at every opportunity. Eager to do whatever the actors let her, she was in a world of her own. Priceless.
Hats off, then, to our three actors for their energy, irrepressible spirit and ability to adapt to what the kids were prepared to do with them. I guess this show/workshop is likely to be different each day, depending on who and how many turn up, but it is one of those Fringe hidden gems that are well worth the effort in seeking out. Even this poor old reviewer ended up being dragged to his feet to join in the final chorus. A true sight for sore eyes.