Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Tim and Light is the third remarkable and beautiful new show from Sussex-born children’s theatre company Tucked In.
Let’s not mince words: Tim and Light is a must-see show for children and adults alike. Every single moment is carefully and imaginatively constructed, and the whole play brims with theatrical inventiveness.
Its puppet protagonists – thirteen year old Tim and stray cat Light – are wonderfully realised and immediately endearing. The performers don’t take long to engage with the younger members of the audience and get them on side. As one voices and controls Tim, the others build the world around him: skimming stones at the Brighton seafront, visiting the train station and meeting Light for the first time atop a brick wall are all handled with brilliantly and quietly clever use of light and props – and that’s all before the story takes a turn for the surreal.
The attention to detail in Tim and Light is astounding. Their use of projection, masks, lighting and props makes for truly mesmerising theatre – while its story, and inevitable moral, is told with a light touch: firm without being heavy-handed or cliched.
Tim and Light is remarkably dark for a children’s play – but not surprisingly so, given Tucked In’s previous work, and, to their credit, not at the cost of terrifying or alienating its young audience. The show keeps them gripped without ever being too frightening. Even a tense, climactic scene near the end – like a child-friendly version of the chase scene in The Shining – is beautifully handled and captivating rather than scary. The moments of the play that follow are genuinely moving – you find yourself so invested in your twin protagonists by the end that you’ll be moved almost to the point of tears.
Tucked In are a young company that should not be overlooked. They’re almost a scaled-down version of Kneehigh Theatre – but what they lack in size and budget they more than make up for in intelligence, creativity and vision. Every moment of the play is a subtle surprise – barely a minute goes by without another clever touch.
The show deserves five stars for its consistently creative and intelligent theatricality, its skilful direction, engaging ensemble performances and its captivating storytelling. This isn’t just children’s theatre at its best: it’s must-see theatre for people of all ages; as accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages as Pixar.
No matter how old you are, do not miss Tim and Light.