#29 Things We Find in the Dark

Theatre ( Physical Theatre, Puppetry ) ZOO

A bedtime story about a young boy, Sam, and his quest to retrieve his protecting light, stolen by a scary monster.

Featuring a young cast, a fresh company, the story is told through shadow projections, live action, and song. Much of the limelight is stolen by the omniscient three-strong chorus, singing as the narrator.

The frenzied protagonist comes off more an addict looking for a fix than a scared little boy, and the story is gutted by the constantly wailing narrator-cum-inner-monologue chorus.

What little meat there is in the story gets quickly drowned out by the excessive blank verbal exposition to the tune of "Sam is standing in the dark."

The wordless monster thief is repeatedly declared evil from the start, virtually guaranteeing the resolution. A prime example of writing down to children. Acquiescent Sam is not an active protagonist, but rather a passive object waiting for things to happen to him. There is no way around such weak writing.

By far the most three-dimensional character is the all-action cut-out giant with a booming voice. The sound world in general has something to it, and the gentle piano-melodica score could have worked very atmospherically. The singing is competent, and the songs fine, feeling only slightly superfluous.

Stage tricks with lighting work nicely, though the portable projection set feels gimmicky and unnecessary.

Play between light and dark has been used to much better effect than in this hobbyist sketch of a children's play.