The Bookbinder

The Bookbinder is Trick of the Light's enchanting fairy tale of a young apprentice bookbinder's encounter with an old woman and her mysterious book. Using shadow puppetry, pop-up sets and plenty of imagination, they bring this charming story to life. Created using the everyday tools of the bookbinding trade, we see terrifying monsters, eerie towns, mysterious characters and perilous sea voyages appearing in front of our eyes, as the apprentice learns a difficult lesson.

The set and props are beautifully detailed and nothing is left unused in creating the story

The audience were greeted by an old tradesman searching for a new apprentice but with a little time on his hands to tell us a story. The sole performer's delivery is always enigmatic and mysterious and lures the audience in. The set and props are beautifully detailed and nothing is left unused in creating the story. The detailing is so important to the production that plenty of it will go unnoticed more than a couple of feet away. The small puppets, for instance, are covered in lettering from books relating to their character traits. A nice touch that shows the heart that went into creating this piece. The performer even took time after the show had finished to point out the small details we might had overlooked.

There are so many clever uses of everyday objects that it would be impossible to list them all here. The imagination and play that must have gone in to the making of this production is quite astounding. One of the standout images is of the treacherous depths of the sea created quite simply from a jug of water, a drop of ink and a well-placed light. The light was used to great effect in giving the image a monstrous glare but at other times being used to create dancing clouds across the sky or terrible creatures. The manipulation of light and dark, an important quality in fairy tales, was quite magical here.

This small-scale piece of theatre is, at its heart, a simple fairy tale but is told with such confidence and care that it elevates it far beyond that. So much love and detail have gone in to the making of it that the end is truly wonderful. Funny, heart-warming and completely engrossing: catch Trick of the Light at the Edinburgh Fringe before they burn too bright.

Reviews by James Price

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The Blurb

A story of mystery, magic and mayhem; weaving shadowplay, paper art, puppetry, and music into an original dark fairytale in the vein of ‘Coraline’ and ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’. An award-winning solo performance for adults and older children. ***** (ThreeWeeks), ***** (Edinburgh Evening News)