The Ghost of Sadie Kimber

There’s nothing complicated about The Ghost of Sadie Kimber - and there doesn’t need to be. Making Light Productions have put together a simple, endearing story of three young siblings coping with moving house one summer. The production doesn’t rely on gimmicks, but instead is able to fall back on the basics, and so the small cast shine in a play which will entertain all members of the family.

The piece is at its best when conflict arises between the three siblings - there’s a genuine closeness between them

Laura (Jacinta Maud Hunter), Nick (Robert Bingham) and Sarah (Shaizeen Persha) are moving house, and they’re not happy. The new house is big and run-down, and Laura’s worried about making new friends - and being forgotten by her old ones. Sarah, meanwhile, starts talking to a girl in the garden called Sadie, and asks if she can come for dinner. Nick and Laura grow more suspicious as they start to wonder if Sadie’s real or in Sarah’s imagination - and their suspicion leads the three of them on a journey of discovery, all while bringing them closer together.

Set in the 90s, Lucy Hunter’s creation will make those who grew up in that generation nostalgic for their childhood days, as the trio spend their time creatively, independent from technology. The characters’ costumes also emulate the time period, and their ages, well - this allows the audience to believe that the adult actors really are the children they’re portraying. The cast use vocals that range in pitch, as well as clumsy movement, to appear childish, but avoid becoming irritating for adults in the audience.

Using just a worn-down stepladder and a couple of cardboard boxes to store props and costume on stage, the story relies mostly on hand-drawn slides projected onto the back curtain to indicate the setting of each scene. While this might help younger audience members find their way through the story, it mostly seemed unnecessary, breaking the otherwise impressively realistic scene. The piece is at its best when conflict arises between the three siblings - there’s a genuine closeness between them that brings their squabbles to life.

The cast bring an energy to the young characters and the story, meaning that what could simply have been a rudimentary children’s production manages to be both accessible for children and also complex enough to entertain their parents.

Reviews by Caitlin Hobbs

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The Blurb

Written and directed by Lucy Hunter based on the novel by Pat Moon. It is 1996, and having moved into a rambling old house three children find themselves at the centre of inexplicable happenings, and fast running out of time in which to outwit an increasingly cunning ghost. But can Laura get her brother to listen to her concerns? And who is the mysterious old lady who hovers in the background? It is only by combining forces they are jointly able to resolve the confusion and set The Ghost of Sadie Kimber free.

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