Pure fantasy and a touch of magic
Dec 15 2007 by Our Correspondent, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
MOST Christmas shows are expected to have sparkle, tinsel and a touch of magic. In The Shadow of Trees is all magic, with refreshingly no snow nor a reindeer in sight.
It does, however, entirely captivate its audience with a winning blend of mime performance, puppetry and live music accompaniment to a recorded whimsical soundtrack.
The production is set within an enchanted forest, a place of peace, beauty but also danger. Its multi-coloured shrubbery is entirely populated by animals until one day, a wizened old woman places a baby under a tree and covers it with a blanket.
The baby soon thrives, with the animals for company.
In the Shadow of Trees is a compelling piece of theatre, which makes a perfect introduction for youngsters who have never seen a live performance before.
Be warned however. Not all is happy and friendly in the forest. When tragedy strikes, I felt as upset as many of the younger members of the audience. But this is a children’s show and natural justice wins the day.
Within the drama, there is plenty of room for slapstick humour, with the two evil poachers getting what they deserve from the woodland creatures.
Hopefully, the children weren’t concentrating on the puppeteers on display instead of the wonderful puppets, unlike me, which was a little off-putting. And I am sure I was the only person there fretting about whether the young baby had been fed.
It is difficult to believe that the entire production had only five performers, including the two musicians. The timing and the choreography were perfect.
Suspend your disbelief and enjoy an hour of pure fantasy, colour and magic.
In The Shadow of Trees runs in the LBT main theatre until Christmas Eve at various times.