White by Andy Manley
REVIEW: Capital E, till March 11
Reviewed by Ewen Coleman
As the name suggests, everything about the Scottish theatre group Catherine Wheels' production is white. The floor, the bench seating and the curtains that surround the acting and seating area are all white.
And the wonderful array of little houses that adorn the set, like bird boxes, are all in white too, as are the costumes of Cotton (Tim Lacata) and Wrinkle (Ian Cameron), the two characters who inhabit the set.
Did you see this event? Vote for your favourite festival show in the Readers' Choice Awards.
But there is nothing sterile about this whiteness as there are many subtle variations in their costuming and the set to give it life. And this world of whiteness is where Cotton and Wrinkle carry out their daily routine of getting up, washing themselves, having breakfast and doing the cleaning.
Any colour they find they discard with disgust. But then something happens to change all this whiteness. To explain would be to spoil the intriguing outcome, and little bits of colour slowly work their way on to the set. It then transpires that both Cotton and Wrinkle have each had a secret desire for particular colours and so start to get all excited as more and more colour invades their world. Finally a whole rainbow of colour engulfs the stage and the audience.
With a minimal amount of dialogue, but a huge amount of imagery and with a very evocative soundscape and creative lighting and lots of illusion, the actors and their production team create a world of sheer magic and enchantment.
This is a visual tale that is exquisitely told and anyone aged from 1 to 100 will be enthralled.
Simplicity and the ability to move from one action to another at just the right moment is the key to any children's show and Catherine Wheels have developed it perfectly.
Local writers of children's shows could learn from the minimal dialogue using appropriate action. Another must show of the festival for both young and old.