I took the kids down to Edinburgh today to experience something of the famous Edinburgh Festival. The first great part of the day was the train ride into the city, over the Forth Bridge past the airport and into Waverley station. As usual at festival time the streets were packed with tourists, people advertising their various shows, and a bewildering array of street entertainers, artists, and people selling all manner of the weird and wonderful. We ignored all of these and marched to the Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile, to watch a children's play called Twine, the cast of which included our old friend Ross, who is part of the Tortoise in a Nutshell theatre group.
Norris (aged 7) said, "I liked Twine because it was funny and interesting. The best character was George because he kept on coming in to the stage every so often with a box of people on top - that's what made it funny. Uncle Claude pretending to be French made me laugh. I liked Uncle Claude's music and people were saying that he was pretending to be French but do not tell him because it will make him angry. I liked the chocolate cakes that they gave out at the end too!"
All three of the kids seemed to really enjoy the show - and were utterly absorbed by it from beginning to end, the hour flew by and they were disappointed that it had to end. There were no problems with restlessness or naughtiness, because they couldn't take their eyes off the characters. I looked accross to my kids at various points during the show - and they were utterly absorbed. The 'story within a story' idea as very well done, and alongside the flights of imagination of the storyline, the musical accompaniment was especially effective. The bizarre family of storytellers who have surreal and improbable adventures after an elaborate Tea-drinking ceremony, reminded me of The Rutles, but where that comic band were transported by 'tea' into Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds territory, this family are joined by a boy made of string, whose inability to speak draws them within the stories they are trying to tell! The age recommendation for the play is 6yrs+, but my 4 year old was highly entertained by it - because even when the dialogue was 'over her head', there was enough happening visually to hold her interest. Well worth a trip!