Dragon @ Citizens Theatre

Review by Susannah Radford | 21 Oct 2013

From the first glimpse of the cotton wool clouds hanging from a brooding sky, it is with a sense of wonder that you watch Dragon. Wonder at the choreographed dance of events, wonder at the precise execution of the story and wonder at the glorious dragons brought to life by puppetry. Co-produced by Vox Motus, National Theatre of Scotland and the Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre, Dragon is full of wonder, and is wonderful. 

Since his mother’s death, Tommy’s life has taken a nose dive.  His dad is catatonic with grief, his sister barely sees him and he’s being bullied at school.  All alone and with no-one to turn to his life changes when one night he looks outside straight into the eyes of a dragon.

The dragon enables Tommy to cope with all the change.  It has many guises: a wooden dragon with a devilish sense of humour morphs into a wispy one who entices and then transforms to give him courage and flight. Another feeds and needles him before a massively beautiful one is tamed. Tommy’s relationship with his dragon and thus himself is ever growing and changing.  The play finally heads towards the climax where Tommy realises he can neither outrun his dragon, nor his own anger. 

Endlessly creative, superbly balancing pathos with humour, the adventure transforms Tommy from boy to young man, and this being a play without words ensures that everyone gains some insight alongside him. With seamless performances from the ensemble, Dragon is a play for older children and adults alike. [Susannah Radford]


Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 30 Oct-2 Nov, 7.30pm, £15.50/12.50/£8

The Lowry, Salford Quays, 8 & 9 Nov, £9, £14/£10