Tuesday, 18 November 2014

PREVIEW - Dusk at the Young Vic

DUSK is a time when everything changes. Shapes, colours, sounds - it can be a magical time of the day as it fades into night.
And it is the magic of dusk that has provided the inspiration for a play which opens tonight at the Young Vic.
Created by the Waterloo theatre's resident company Fevered Sleep, Dusk has been specially conceived for younger audiences.
The show intertwines film and live performance to create a magical experience in which the children in the audience get to play a central role.
"It's unlike anything you've ever seen before," promises co-creator Sam Butler. "It's about the connection with nature and other people, family, loss and being lost and searching for the right thing.
"It's a highly visual show, very beautiful and made with complete attention to detail. It is also completely immersive."
This starts the moment the children come into the theatre when they are given a tail.
"It looks like a fox tail but they are not told what it is - it's up to them and their imaginations," explains Sam.
"They are also invited to become an "It"- the character who features in the show and whose journey the children follow.
"There is not much of a narrative - but by the end of the show they feel they are the same as the character in the film and the character in the theatre - it completely connects them."
The company is no stranger to making shows for children. Last year it had huge success with its piece Brilliant, which was also staged at the Young Vic.
However, this show has its roots in one the company made for adult audiences.
"Above Me The Wide Blue Sky was something we did which was part installation and part stage show," says Sam.
"It had the same themes of nature and our connection to and with it. We wanted to do something for children that would hold their attention and when we began to think about ideas, a version of this show seemed the ideal thing to do."
And for parents who worry their children may not always sit still, Sam says it's all part of the experience.
"We like to put on shows that make people think but that also encourage interaction and participation and this is no exception," she says.
"There is a fine line between the boredom threshold of a young child, them being distracted easily and getting a bit jiggly. We also know they come from different backgrounds and have different experiences of theatre.
"So, we are not asking them to sit rigidly and be quiet - that's very important. They can talk about everything they see and experience to whoever they are with.
"Some children are overwhelmed and some don't know what to make of it. What's lovely is we watch them edge in and settle down and usually they are completely with us by the end of it."
And at the end all the children are given a prop.
"We suggest they go out and explore what's around them - whether it's an urban or a more country environment," says Sam.
"It's lovely to see them excited and fascinated and to watch them go off and have their own adventure with nature!"

Dusk is at the Young Vic until November 29. Tickets cost £10. Visit the box office at www.youngvic.org or call 020 7922 2922.  

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