First published in The Times, Saturday May 12 2018
Eddie and the Slumber Sisters: Three Stars
Baba Yaga: Four Stars
Catherine Wheels, the leading purveyors of children’s theatre in Scotland, are drawn to subjects other companies would flinch from tackling. Their acclaimed show, The Voice Thief, drew on horror and sci-fi tropes in its depiction of patriarchal tyranny and suppression, while HUFF, created with Shona Reppe and Andy Manley, presented the Three Little Pigs’ house as a crime scene.
The ability to transform everyday objects into the stuff of magical adventures is the very essence of imaginative play. An empty cardboard box becomes a pirate ship. A nailbrush zooms along the side of the bathtub, becoming a train speeding along the track. A courageous wooden spoon takes on a fire breathing washing up bottle in a battle for dominance over the kitchen table.
First published in The Times, Wednesday December 7 2016
For the first time in ages, Scotland’s new writing theatre has opted to present a family show as their main stage Christmas production. Yet, while the horsebox that sits centre stage contains much to keep younger audiences agog, there is an air of nostalgia to this inventive adaptation of Anna Sewell’s evergreen children’s tale that will also comfort those of a certain vintage.
First published in The Times, Tuesday October 6 2015
Over the past two decades, Shona Reppe has built a reputation as one of the leading purveyors of theatre for children and families, both at home in Scotland and internationally. In recent years she has fine-tuned her inventive, offbeat approach to storytelling in shows such as Potato Needs a Bath, in which a group of anthropomorphised vegetables and fruit get ready for a party, and Huff (created with Andy Manley), an ingenious art installation that reimagined the story of the Three Little Pigs as a CSI-style crime scene.