Another lovely review for our show 'Match' from Sarah Dosomah from female arts who came to see it at the Sherman, Cardiff. This was the show's first week and it has gone from strength to strength since then. We are next at Corn Hall, Diss
Here is Sarah's review below in full.
The Dot & Ethel theatre company brought a touch of magic to my children’s half term with their latest production of ‘Match’. Based on Christian-Anderson’s ‘Little match girl’ this sweet, enchanting story manages some of life’s most difficult realities with a lightness of touch that is pitched just right for its younger audience. I took my 4 year old Benjamin along to see what he thought of this show. When asked about his favourite part Benjamin replies (in the style of a true 4 year old) “The bit where she got the paper stuck to her face…” I remember the moment vividly and the sea of giggles that rolled out across the floor. To enlighten the rest of you, this was a delightful scene in which the two children, played by actresses Eloise Secker and Jade Berks, playfully chase paper that dances in the winter wind. The painful reality, as many of us know, is that the poverty stricken match girl will not survive the winter. Heidi Vaughn’s adaptation however, transcends the grief of Anderson’s original story and there is no heaviness laid upon this young audience. The austerity of the children’s lives is lit up by their imagination and the warmth of each burning match signifies a creative journey. It was heartening to see the resilience of the children and the solace they find in their imaginative play. The two handed performers were beautifully animated and we were all fascinated by how they used their voices to create the sounds of their environment most specifically the wind.
The play was altogether rich in sensory qualities- quirky sounds, bubbles, balloons, sparklers, puppets and glowing lights. It was beautiful. Perhaps more importantly it held the attention of the young people for the entire 60 minutes. My baby (who is now 19 months) was even gripped for around 90% of the showing and that’s impressive (far more than ‘cbeebies’ could ever do). Grown-ups will also enjoy ‘Match’. My favourite moment was a scene in which the children remember their Grandma. With great poignancy the children dance to a Nat King Cole song which, is indeed ‘unforgettable’.
I wondered whether the warmth and sweetness of ‘Match’ could have been tempered with a little more coolness just to communicate the story line more clearly. However, given that ‘Match’ is for such a young audience I do believe they have done extremely well. Benjamin had a ‘melt down’ when his little brother threw his balloon over the balcony and also when he was too far away from the front to catch any bubbles. (Such matters are devastating for a four year old). Evidently ‘Match’ was so special for Ben that he wanted to physically take something away from the experience. Perhaps this is something the production team could think about further. When asked ‘How many stars do we give this production?’ Benjy gave a resounding ‘FIVE!!!’ And I’m certainly not going to argue with that.
(c) Sarah Dosomah
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff,
October 29th 2014
Directed by Heidi Vaughn