The Lowry Theatre, Salford – until 21 February 2016
Upstaged rating: ★★★★
Kite is a stunningly beautiful and inventive play from Devon-based theatre company The Wrong Crowd. No spoken words are needed in this highly visual production, instead delightful puppetry, an enchanting soundtrack and movement bring the story of a young girl and her kite to life.
Following her mother’s death, a little girl (Charlotte Croft) is transported from her home in a seaside town to live with her grandmother (Liz Crowther) in a small flat in London. Lonely and heavy hearted, her memories of the life she used to know and the environment around her begin to fade away. Until one magical night, she finds a handmade kite and patching up a hole in the wing, the two embark on a wild adventure together.
Thing 2 was gripped by the performance, his eyes darting to follow the wonderful kite flying about the stage. He even moved to sit on the stairs to get a better view of the action, reaching his hands out to try and reach the kite as it flew high above.
Kite is so pleasingly pretty and well-thought out – delicate choreography is balanced with striking imagery by performers Linden Walcott-Burton and Nicola Blackwell. With slick scene changes and clever lighting design, the performers reconfigure designer/ director Rachel Canning’s set to create a train carriage, a heavily packed tube and a small kitchen. Isobel Waller-Bridge’s atmospheric soundscape is perfectly suggestive for a young audience, fusing original spellbinding music with ambient sound.
A real highlight of the hour-long show comes towards the end of the production when puppets of the little girl and her grandmother dance along a beautifully lit backdrop of the London skyline.
Taking some of its inspiration from The Snowman and The Red Balloon, Kite is unpretentious and thoughtful – a wondrous example of children’s theatre. Each show also includes a post-show meet-up with the cast and their puppets. Little smiley faces and sparkly eyes greeted the performers, as the young audience were given the chance to see the puppets and talk to the performers about their show.
Throw caution to the wind and see Kite this weekend. It’ll be like a breath of fresh air on an otherwise rainy day in Salford.
Kite runs at the Lowry Theatre in Salford until Sunday 21 February 2016.
To find out more about The Wrong Crowd Theatre Company and national tour dates for Kite please click here.