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Photo credit @ Mark Neal

Sky In The Pie, OSO Arts Centre – Review

“Do you remember your first day at school?” the soft voice of Roger McGough intones, and thus begins an hour of poetry, music, acrobatics, puppetry and even a little blues, all neatly combined to make this show not just for the kids. Given that the hour in question is mid-afternoon and the audience is packed with young children, it is a rather unusual hour to say the least. Unusual, and utterly mesmerising. Sky In The Pie is based on Roger McGough’s poetry, picking snippets from his long writing career that together form a day in the life of a…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

This might look like a children’s show but fear not, it’s one us adults should try to reclaim for ourselves.

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“Do you remember your first day at school?” the soft voice of Roger McGough intones, and thus begins an hour of poetry, music, acrobatics, puppetry and even a little blues, all neatly combined to make this show not just for the kids. Given that the hour in question is mid-afternoon and the audience is packed with young children, it is a rather unusual hour to say the least. Unusual, and utterly mesmerising.

Sky In The Pie is based on Roger McGough’s poetry, picking snippets from his long writing career that together form a day in the life of a young schoolchild. But today is not just any boring old school day as it is magically brought to life in oh so many ways by the very capable Feathers of Daedalus Circus. The five-strong cast take us from waking up first thing, through morning lessons, school dinners and back to bed again. There is even time to touch upon the thorny topic of bullying, here presented in a way that shows how real it can be at school. But even with such a serious theme there comes gentle humour, and the only real message that is preached is that there can be magical moments in the most mundane day. McGough’s comic touch is evident throughout, and even able to tackle the delicate issue of whether or not poetry should rhyme.

The poetry is enough in itself to enthral both young and old alike, but with the added visual delights that go on around it, it takes on a whole new life away from the page where we are so much more used to seeing it. The performers not only recite verse faultlessly but perform multiple tasks, no one scene the same as the last, treating us to a simply charming blend of sight and sound.

Having watched the school day we explore the dreams and nightmares that all children experience. Our child’s dream contains a scarecrow, and there is surely more than a passing nod to the Mighty Boosh in the way this scarecrow is brought to life in front of us, its singing and dancing across the stage ensuring that it is not going to give any young child in the audience nightmares.

Sky In The Pie is an hour of pure beauty, both for the ears and the eyes. Whilst it may predominately be aimed at children, the adults in the audience are just as enchanted by the spectacle of it all. This is a show that surely should be reclaimed for us adults so we can all be young again for an hour during a cold wet afternoon.

Written by: Roger McGough and Joanna Vymeris
Directed by: Joanna Vymeris
Produced by: Feathers of Daedalus
Booking link: https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/sky-in-the-pie/
Booking until: The show will play at the VAULT Festival between 6 – 8 March

About Rob Warren

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Rob accidently ended up working in social housing as a temporary thing. That was ten years ago and hasn't got around to leaving just yet as it fits nicely in with his political views of the world. Started out writing music reviews. Spent many a happy night propping up bars in the back rooms of London's dodgiest music venues. Whilst he is still looking out for the next great band, Rob eventually got into theatre as you get to sit down rather than stand. Theatre was also kinder on the hearing, which had never recovered fully from the last Primal Scream gig he attended. Like his work, Rob tends to like his plays a little social leaning, which probably explains why he struggles to find people to go with him half the time.