Who was the clever person who didn’t read the sign correctly, which clearly stated: “1 hour 15 minutes. No interval” ? Who, instead, thought it said “1 hour 15 minutes. Interval” and thought she had missed how long the second half would be?
So who, then, at what transpired to be ten minutes before the end thought ‘there can’t possibly be anymore of this story left to tell; how long is the second half?‘ and when the show actually did end, she couldn’t understand why the audience were applauding so enthusiastically going into an interval?
Ladies and gentlemen, your very own host of this blog.
As a result, I had to do a bit of rethinking about what I saw as we applauded and exited the building. Because I am an idiot.
After coming to terms with the fact that the lead bore an uncanny resemblance to a former uni course-mate, it was a fun piece. With some stage nerves evident in the lead, the piece took off a bit quicker than I think it was meant to. I was also a bit confused as to why the music crescendoed as early as it did; a little too epic pre-dragon appearance for my liking.
It took me a while to realise the dragons were getting bigger until about half an hour before the show’s close; only then did it click that the dragon was at least twice the size of the boy. Very sneaky.
With such an interactive set, the actors are permanently doing something, on and offstage. The drawback in the Traverse is that there are no permanent stage wings, so you can hear everything offstage. They’re a noisy bunch.
My only niggle with the piece was the boy’s acceptance of the next door neighbour in the family’s life. For me, the boy’s reaction to his mother’s death had elements of autism. Fundamentally, there really is no way of knowing if that is the case, unless I directly speak to the creators and actors. That aside, given the previous ferocity of his reactions – breaking the embrace between her and his father, locking her out the house – the acceptance didn’t feel right.
Kids under the age of ten are quite adaptable creatures, and it’s amazing how many people don’t know that. Likewise, their latter teens. But that period in between is full of complexity that takes serious time to decipher. Yes, some kids might be fine with another woman taking place in their household after the death of their mother, particularly if they are familiar to family. But like I said, his reactions to her being their in the first place suggest otherwise.
The final scene got a little bit Neverending Story for me (if you’ve seen Dragon, look at the movie poster and tell me they don’t look a little similar). Overall, it was a playful piece. I wished they hadn’t spoken at the end, but I completely understand why they did.