The Girl With No Heart @ Bedlam Theatre

Fantasy and fireside tales

Review by Steven Fraser | 12 Aug 2012
  • The Girl With No Heart

A live acoustic guitar with accompanying cello greet the audience as we enter the Bedlam Theatre. The stage is set masterfully with a charcoal white backdrop that evokes a mystical forest. Before the players even enter the stage the audience is fully aware that we are in a world of fantasy and fairy tale.
 
Samura is a young girl and it is her heroes' journey we are following. She is the only colour on the stage with her costume design evoking her bright and curious nature. Samura's journey is filled with interesting puppet characters that are masterfully manipulated by Sparkle and Dark's Travelling Players.
 
A fantasy world which is made out of paper is beautifully conceived, further adding to the fragility of the protagonist and her puppet companions. The threat in this world is an Adult Army who are looking to steal the hearts of the children. Considering the possibility of a downbeat story, the brilliant performance from the female protagonist removes any possibility of overbearing sorrow and replaces it with subtle melancholy and innocent heartache.
 
Despite innovative use of shadow puppetry, the threat of the impending Adult Army does not feel convincing or even threatening. Nevertheless the performance of Samura and the interplay of the puppets is beautifully judged.  Sparkle and Dust have created a compelling fantasy world mixed with innovative puppets, storytelling and conceived a brilliant story that will delight audiences regardless of their age.

Bedlam Theatre 3-25 Aug (not 13) 5pm (55 mins) £8.00 (£6.00) http://www.sparkleanddark.com