Sam is scared of the dark. One day, a shadowy figure steals away his only bedtime comfort, starting a quest through the lands that lie below the bed and beyond. This charming production by The Lincoln Company fuses shadow puppetry with physical theatre to tell the quaint tale of a young boy who wants his nightlight back – and it’s shaping up to be a lovely piece of theatre.
For a family, or for anybody, looking for an adventure: this is worth a shot.
A chorus of three (Felicity Donnelly, Alice Saxton and Jessica Hickey) guides our hero (Samuel Hall) through his tale with lilting harmonies and childlike energy. Hall brings a wide-eyed innocence to the role, and there are some impressive sequences of movement as a group where falling through space and running from monsters is brought dynamically to life.
The puppetry used throughout the production is enchanting to the last, using an imaginative range of sizes and styles to transport the audience from the top of a mountain to an underwater cave. Whilst there was an impressive detail of the locations in this mystical land, I would have liked to have had the same variety in the vocal and musical accompaniment: though tuneful, this did become slightly repetitive.
Things We Find In The Dark evokes Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole, crossed with Where The Wild Things Are. Giants and goblins appear and disappear at the drop of a hat, and whilst eyes are lurking in the shadows there’s always a comforting critter on hand to guide the way. I was expecting considerably more menace from a production claiming to confront the primal fear of darkness that is a rite of passage through childhood, but the result is pleasing nonetheless.
It’s early in the Festival, and this show feels like it’s just getting into its stride. Pauses between scenes will soon be ironed out, as will occasional awkwardness onstage as this small cast relaxes into their roles. For a family, or for anybody, looking for an adventure: this is worth a shot.