Home » Reviews » Family » Bedtime Stories, Stratford Circus Arts Centre – Review
Credit: Mark Robson
Credit: Mark Robson

Bedtime Stories, Stratford Circus Arts Centre – Review

Pros: An inviting set strewn with cushions and blankets give the kids room to stretch out and enjoy the show. 

Cons: An over-reliance on visuals does rob the story of a more detailed narrative.

Pros: An inviting set strewn with cushions and blankets give the kids room to stretch out and enjoy the show.  Cons: An over-reliance on visuals does rob the story of a more detailed narrative. Stratford Circus and the Upswing Circus Theatre Company have created an enchanting piece of family entertainment in Bedtime Stories. The premise is simple, a little girl is preparing for sleep; her Mum begins to read her a bedtime story but work pressures are a continual distraction. Her daughter decides to rescue her with the help of her imaginary friend, Three, going on a journey through unknown and magical places. The piece explores the…

Summary

Good

Rating

An inventive, thoughtful story told with great visual expression.

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Stratford Circus and the Upswing Circus Theatre Company have created an enchanting piece of family entertainment in Bedtime Stories. The premise is simple, a little girl is preparing for sleep; her Mum begins to read her a bedtime story but work pressures are a continual distraction. Her daughter decides to rescue her with the help of her imaginary friend, Three, going on a journey through unknown and magical places.

The piece explores the power of dreams, and how a child’s imagination can take flight in the twilight of consciousness and slumber. Mum, played by Lewis Barfoot is warm and homely, but the real stars of the show are Hazel Lam as the Little Girl and Nathan Johnston as Three.  As work pulls Mum away, Little Girl finds Three under her bed and they embark on an imagined journey to find her Mum, and so finish the bedtime story. The story is then illustrated by an amazing sequence of acrobatic moves that are quite simply breathtaking.  They provide a vivid portrayal of images inside the little girl’s mind; supporting visuals throw great shadows across the performance area with mesmerising rabbits hopping across our field of vision.

Perhaps one small criticism is the minimal use of spoken narrative and almost exclusive reliance on visual narrative. Whilst it may be argued that the target audience for the show is the under 8’s, I feel that children can be stimulated by words as well as visuals.  That minor quibble aside, Bedtime Stories is a charming production that will appeal to the entire family; a highly manageable 50 minute production is pitched just right for a child’s limited attention span.

Text: Vicki Amedume and Yusra Warsama
Director: Vicki Amedume
Producer: Upswing Circus Theatre Company
Box Office0844 357 2625
Booking link: N/A
Booking until: This show has now completed its run.

About Brian Penn

Brian Penn
Civil Servant. Brian flirted with drama at school but artistic differences forced a painful separation. At least he knows what his motivation is. Now occupying a safe position in the audience he enjoys all kinds of theatre. He was bitten by the theatrical bug after watching a production of Tommy in his teens. Other passions include films, TV and classic rhythm and blues. He also finds time for quizzes, football and squash. A keen sports fan, his enthusiasm crashes to a halt whenever anyone mentions golf. A musical based on the life of Tiger Woods could be his greatest challenge.