|*Thanks to Sherman for tickets. Photo credit: Sherman Website.|
Today we had a fun packed afternoon at Sherman Theatre, thanks to the wonderfully engaging Little Light Dance & Digital Theatre. The Flying Bedroom is a bilingual performance (English & Welsh) following the travels of Elinor and her flying bedroom as she dreams fantastical dreams from the comfort of her bedroom.
The performance took place in the larger theatre at Sherman, with lovely cosy seating for the children on stage, whilst adults (plus nervous or young children) could sit in the first bunch of rows. I loved how they’d placed out little ‘flying’ carpets for the children, as well as cushions, to make them feel a part of the performance.
The show began and immediately I was intrigued by the way the performance used the Welsh and English language together. I cannot speak Welsh at all, but from the way the performance was constructed the dialogue worked extremely well, even when I didn’t understand the Welsh parts I could kind of understand them thanks to how the dialogue was written, the English guiding me to understand the whole conversation regardless of my lack of language skills!
The performance combines dance, dialogue, visual elements (through the use of a large back screen), storytelling and enthusiastic performers. I also have to give a shout out to the music, light and video guy, who seemed to be multitasking with such ease whilst producing various effects and atmospheres as the story evolved.
The story is all about Elinor’s first day at school and how scared she feels. After a night of adventures though, she is ready to face the world confident in the knowledge of who she is. She may wear her hair a certain way, she may carry a suitcase, but she is who she is and by the end of the performance she embraces this. I think, regardless of starting school, this story focuses in on the idea of accepting who we are and not worrying about what other people think. It focuses on embracing our differences and being proud of them, not fearing them. It encourages you to be you, and that’s pretty special, right?
I thought the two performers, Angharad Jones as Elinor and Cat Ryan as all the other characters, were fantastic. They obviously have a lot of chemistry, and they performed their characters with ease and enthusiasm. They were really interactive with the audience, which (from my experience) always helps to relax children in this kind of setting if they’re a little nervous.
Both performers use dance throughout the production and the large screen at the back shows the bedroom travelling to different places. It’s not a high-tech, 4-D affair, instead it’s simple, quirky and perfect for little ones with the bold colours and cartoon style vibe. I loved the idea that the children were sat on little flying carpets and the movie travelling across the hills, over volcanoes and even into space, would make each child feel as though they were really flying!
I thought the costumes were also really interesting, and afterwards we joined them for their workshop, which used various elements of the story to encourage the children to use their body to move in certain ways relating to the performance. George and Molly had a lot of energy and bounded around the stage as they pretended to catch stars, dive into the sea and fight with pirates… They had a lot of fun!
I think Little Light have such passion for dance, which emits throughout their performance of The Flying Bedroom like little fire flies dancing about the theatre. The performance was interactive, fun and energetic, as well as touching on topics such as self-confidence and fear. I think it’s a lovely family friendly performance with a lot to offer, from dance to visuals you’ll find something to enjoy if you go and see The Flying Bedroom.
Check out the tour dates here for more information.