Leaping God Sly

A street band performance onstage gives the audience a snapshot of Haitian life, dropping us straight into a vibrant scene. Each cast member carries an instrument around the stage, often to be used throughout the play, as we are told a brief history of the people. Little sayings such as ‘over the top of one mountain, lies another mountain’ drop us into a scene where the vibrancy of the people is paramount. This is executed very effectively by the young and boundlessly energetic cast who keep the show bounding forward.Cassandra is one of too many orphans in pre-earthquake Haiti, but she is lucky enough to have a local carer and a sister. In a Cassandra-like premonition she senses that horror is about to come her way and becomes obsessed in a sinister mythological figure, who guards the gateway to the underworld wearing a straw hat. A man does arrive in a straw hat, an Englishman looking to adopt Cassandra and take her away. Then the earthquake happens and all the characters are plunged into a world where life hangs tenuously in the balance. Corruption and debauchery is rife while voodoo and mythology warps the horrifying realities of Haitian life. This is an important story well told. A lot relies on the ability of the cast to portray Haitian life, and as a bunch of British students they did well to face an unassailable task. That still means this element of the show was lacking, despite their best efforts. The script demands a play that oozes life, and what we get is a very accomplished production that leaps with energy.

Reviews by Theo Barnes

Rain

★★★★★

The Forum

★★★

Fire and the Rose

★★★★

The Blurb

Mercurial. Macabre. Inventive. Lyrical. Cassie's rescue from beneath the rubble unleashes a powerful chain reaction. Fantastical earthquake story of possession and loss. 'Sickeningly accomplished, captivating storytelling' **** (Fest, 2009); 'Astonishing quality ... sheer beauty'**** (Scotsman). www.babolintheatre.co.uk