Rebounding Hail

Written by Avital Lvova and George Vere, Rebounding Hail is set in a 13 year old girl’s room surrounded by her books. It is a beautifully told story of the girl’s imaginary adventures in storyland, with characters from the books bursting into life as she reads.

This style should entertain younger audience members, while certainly being engaging for the older ones among us – a true family-friendly show.

Holly Kilpatrick summons the character of an excited, curious adventuress perfectly. Her young innocence is completely believable, while her angrier turns are not overdone at all. The truthfulness of her work is a joy to watch and the lynchpin upon which the show’s strength rests.

Matthew Staite is a great swashbuckling seafarer. His work is connected and fun, a joy to watch. He provides a nice counterbalance to the rest of the cast with his more earthy, joyful acting. Federico Moro, too, plays his roles well with good differentiation. His handsome alpha male types are suitably swoon-inducing in the Young Girl. It is, however, sometimes a struggle to hear all of his lines – particularly as his Noir Detective character, due to his articulation, but this should be easily solvable.

Richard Weston as the voice in the Young Girl’s head is consistently strong. It might be easy for a voice coming from the PA to sound fake or tinny, but the connection shown between the Kilpatrick and Weston keeps the central story – that of the Girl’s development from youth to adolescence – enthralling and believable. Robyn Grant also deserves mention for strongly defining her various roles, and deploying a cutting RP that is particularly well-played for this family show, while her characterisation is a pleasure to watch.

Avital Lvova does a doubly good job, being the writer and the well-played Anne Frank. Her performance is beautifully subtle and we are completely drawn in to her story. The only downside might be that she is obviously a beautiful woman rather than a teenage diary writer, but she can’t be blamed for that. The script is charming, witty, at a great pace and often hilarious.

The action is constant, with never a dull moment. The characters appearing and disappearing are simple yet effective, and the set invokes the lovely yet sometimes haunting atmosphere enchantingly. On the whole the stagecraft is very well done – there is often a lot going on intercut with moments of still solitude which works wonderfully. This style should entertain younger audience members, while certainly being engaging for the older ones among us – a true family-friendly show.

Reviews by Dixon Baskerville

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Performances

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The Blurb

Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in a room filled with unfinished books. She read and imagined the worlds of the stories around her. One day a new book appeared. She wanted to read it, but the voice in her head told her not to. And shouldn't you listen to those who know better? ‘Genuinely fresh, new and exciting’ (James Seagar, Les Enfants Terribles). ‘Literate, warm and surprising’ (Leon Rubin). Shortlisted for the Les Enfants Terribles Award 2015.

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