THE IRON MAN – Unicorn Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Shanine SalmonLeave a Comment

Unicorn Theatre, London  – until 5 March 2017
Guest reviewer: Joe Weinberg

Unicorn Theatre’s magical production of The Iron Man is simply oozing with creativity. Adapted from the Ted Hughes novel of the same name, the simple story follows an iron giant who befriends a young boy, and must help save the world from a monstrous alien creature. However, Hughes’ story, lovely though it may be, is not what makes this production so captivating. The man behind the magic is the show’s creator, Matthew Robins, who is responsible for the wide range of artistic storytelling methods employed in the 50-minute production. The show contains minimal words, instead utilizing puppetry, water color animation, live-streaming, music, and sculpture to create the play’s enchanting world.

Despite being geared toward young audiences, the production does not pander to them at all. It’s tinged with darkness and sophistication, with a tone that’s ominous as often as it is charming. I even felt a pang of fear upon the first appearance of the story’s extra-terrestrial villain. And indeed, adults may appreciate the intelligent stagecraft just as much as (if not more than) the children. One rarely sees a theatrical production so successfully embrace and incorporate several visual art forms. Yet even with the abundance of imaginative stage effects, the show does not muddle up the story, nor does it feel overly busy. It gives each moment its due, allowing the production both to satisfy its audience, and leave us wanting more.

Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
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Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.

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