'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play Review

Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play

This is a show about meddling younger sisters, adept at creating mess and breaking their older sibling’s toys. Performed using puppets, Lola, the main centre of our attention, passes the time with ‘super cat’, magic performances and her imaginary friend, Soren. The show is split between Lola being told to tidy her room and Lola being told to go to bed.   

All this – especially the demanding younger sibling – initially resonates, although only to an extent. It is perhaps unfair to criticise the themes of this play as clichéd (surely this isn’t the sort of thing that matters for a children’s performance?) but it would not be unreasonable to ask for more. 

Childhood consists, after all, of fear and excitement; the purposeful pushing of boundaries and breaking of rules. Children learn to manipulate siblings (both mentally and physically), rather than simply to rationally converse with them. They construct elaborate lies and concoct weird potions: think about the generations of children who have lapped up the surreal themes, blood, mud and chaos of Roald Dahl. 

Entertaining children with butterflies, puppets and the spectacle (for spectacle it is) of amicable and polite sibling relationships under the age of ten is fine to an extent, but you owe it to them to dare for something better.

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