The Shape of Things

Children are often said to be the most “difficult”—or, to put it another way, most honest—theatre audience performers are ever likely to face: they’re not “adult” enough to hide their boredom or loss of interest. Equally, though, they can be the most involved, if the show holds their attention. This is something Scottish company Starcatchers know very well, having spent most of the last decade creating performances specifically aimed at (arguably) the most challenging children’s audience imaginable–babies and toddlers.

As performers, Feijoo and Gregg are relaxed and, while towering over their audience, remain friendly and welcoming

The Shape of Things, created by Starcatchers’ Ailie Cohen with Marc Mac Lochlainn of Irish children’s theatre company Branar Téatar, uses a mix of puppetry, music and staging to successfully hold the attention of an audience of children aged between six and 24 months (although those who seemed to enjoy the show most appeared to be around 12 months old). The audience is sat underneath a tree-like giant umbrella (which is actually made out of a parachute) from which hang strings of soft cubes and triangles. Our hosts—Saras Feijoo and Helen Gregg—are dressed like elves, the colours of their outfits matching those of their surroundings. Miguel Barcelo’s gentle music immediately creates a relaxing, curious atmosphere, in which the constantly smiling Feijoo and Gregg instantly form a connection with their young audience.

The “story”, as such, is uncomplicated and gently repeated; squares and triangles are discovered, admired and then moved to one of three “homes” around the tent—the third becoming useful once an unexpected circle appears on the scene. However, any suggestion that this show is just about definition and difference is soon undermined by the genuinely attention-grabbing appearance of two puppets, Cubert the cube and Triantán the triangle who, while clearly different, end up playing and having a great time together.

As performers, Feijoo and Gregg are relaxed and, while towering over their audience, remain friendly and welcoming, expertly ensuring that the necessary repetitions are unforced and grounded in the world of the show. And, of course, they are then the perfect hosts during the 10 minutes of interactive soft play that follows the half-hour performance, which enables many of the toddlers to finally touch, hold and explore the shapes they’d been keenly reaching out to for most of the duration!

Undoubtedly a warm, well-balanced production with genuine appeal for its intended audience.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★
Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

★★★
Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

★★★★
Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

★★★★
Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The world all around us is made up of wonderful shapes. But sometimes there are so many shapes that some shapes get lost. This is a story of two shapes, Cubert and Triantán, and the adventures they have finding their way back to each other.

Set in a soft and tactile environment Starcatchers and Branar tell this interactive story through puppetry, object theatre, music and sound. Designed for children aged 6months – 2 years and their adults.

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets