Bláth/The Flower – Riverbank Theatre – Review
Bláth/The Flower – Riverbank Theatre, Newbridge – Review by Frank L
This is a piece of theatre aimed at an audience aged 6 years and upwards. It therefore is likely that Bláth /The Flower will be the first time some of the younger members of the audience will have encountered a live performance in a theatre. It is based on the children’s book The Flower by John Light and Lisa Evans. This theatrical adaptation has been created by Maeve Clancy with original music by Colm MacIomaire of the Frames which complements the action well. The imposing set consists of a collection of buildings in an urban landscape. There is not any room for a tree, a plant or a blade of grass. All is built. There is nothing growing. The buildings tower over the inhabitants who in their grey clothes scurry to work.
There are two principal characters; a youth who lives in a big modern building and an old man who keeps a junk shop in an old part of the urban mass. There is a delightful linking of the public library, a book which contains an image of a red flower and a pack of seeds in the junk shop. The boy learns how to bring the seeds to life and thereby fill the urban space with wonderful, colourful blooms. It is a lovely magical happening.
The entire set is built out of paper but intimidatingly creates buildings of daunting scale. The boy and the old man are operated by puppeteers who become almost invisible, blending into the background as they make the puppets come to life. It is a delight to be transported into this world of make believe. The kids in the audience were all entranced. If it was their first experience of theatre, they are lucky as it was a great place from which to start.
Directed by Marc MacLochlainn