Pros: A fun show that is well adapted and joyfully performed. The storyline is interesting to both children and adults. Good use of audiovisuals, surprise appearances, magical equipment, manga… what’s not to like?
Cons: Clearly not recommended to those who are allergic to children. Or to cats for that matter.
Hear hear, the Amazing Kitamura Detective Agency is coming to town, complete with a Sherlockian investigator, a goldfish called Watson and a real mystery to solve! And wait, what is that? A talking cat? And a furry little boy? This is all very weird, we better help Detective K use the 3D projector, the simultaneous cat language translator and the speak-o-phone to solve it!
Me and my Cat performed by A Thousand Cranes is a joyful, witty and immersive children’s tale adapted from the original book by Japanese author Satoshi Kitamura. And what a jolly adaptation it is! Kumiko pulls a stellar performance, hopping, humming and squatting across the stage, unfolding clue after clue to solve the astonishing mystery. She is very much at ease as she involves her little audience and adults alike with effortless nonchalance.
I found the storyline original and complex enough to keep even the adult audience happily entertained. Yes, of course it’s meant for children, but I soon found myself guessing what on earth had happened to poor Thomas and his cat Leonardo. Even more worrying, I then developed a soft spot for ubercute Spanish black cat Picasso and began fantasizing about building that universal language machine all by myself! Perhaps it was the Japanese manga-style narration, the farcical face-pulling, or the innate sympathy that Kumiko irradiates. The many little ones in the audience were all giggles throughout and pretty keen to join in and guide our baffled Sherlock wannabe to investigative success.
A testimony to intercultural cooperation and physical theatre that can be both educational and fun. Above all, a joyful morning for all the family and for anyone who likes genuine children’s tales with a manga twist. Go book your date before the tour ends!
Author: Satoshi Kitamura
Performed by: Kumiko Mendl
Produced by: A Thousand Cranes
Director: Vicky Ireland
Booking until: 13 December 2014 at Half Moon, Limehouse
Box Office: 020 7709 8900
Web Link: http://athousandcranes.org.uk/productions/me-and-my-cat/