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Moon River, Online – Review

Free online at Little Angel Theatre website (donation optional)

Free online at Little Angel Theatre website (donation optional) The Little Angel Theatre has been a triumph during lockdown. Their adaptations of Ross Collins’ What Does an Anteater Eat? and Jon Klassen’s Hat trilogy have collectively had over 200,000 views to date and been watched in over 70 countries worldwide. More than that, children and their carers stuck inside everywhere have been inspired to imitate the simple but effective techniques to devise their own productions at home and possibly put them online. Moon River, created in a similar vein, is a tiny but twinkling star of a production. It’s also another socially distanced…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

Escape lockdown and enjoy a relaxing family adventure to dreamland, in this twinkling star of a bedtime story.

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The Little Angel Theatre has been a triumph during lockdown. Their adaptations of Ross Collins’ What Does an Anteater Eat? and Jon Klassen’s Hat trilogy have collectively had over 200,000 views to date and been watched in over 70 countries worldwide. More than that, children and their carers stuck inside everywhere have been inspired to imitate the simple but effective techniques to devise their own productions at home and possibly put them online.

Moon River, created in a similar vein, is a tiny but twinkling star of a production. It’s also another socially distanced creation which demonstrates that, although separated in lockdown, we can still meet together successfully in our imaginations. At just four minutes long, it might be brief, nonetheless it still offers a world of possibility for its audience. 

Tim Hopgood’s delightful book illustrates a little girls’ bedtime journey to dreamland using the lyrics of the famous song Moon River, which featured in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and was later recorded by Andy Williams.  For this adaptation, talented designer Alison Alexander cleverly animates Hopgood’s beautiful pictures in the style of a pop-up book, whilst the captivating music, performed by the honey-voiced Barb Jungr and accompanist Jenny Carr, carries us gently along a meandering stream of imagination. The retro styling of the artwork blends beautifully with the classic song, creating a timeless, intergenerational space for everyone from grandparents to small children to enjoy.

This is perfect bedtime material. In the dreamy, relaxing environment it takes only tiny details of animation to bring characters from the book to life, as the girl and her toys lift from the page to travel the universe together and catch stars. Drawing us in to the songbook, the show encourages us to let go and explore beyond the immediate, creating a fascinating world in a tiny space. The simplicity of the production makes you feel that this is a project style you could possibly imitate yourself with the kids: it would certainly inspire me to at least pick up the book and read or sing with them. The words from the page are present only in the performed lyrics of the song, but if you feel you want to read along during the show, or sing karaoke, YouTube does offer subtitles!

This is a production which embraces imagination, escape and togetherness, all vital elements to help us through lockdown. It left me feeling relaxed and at peace. I’m off to put on my PJs and get my Ovaltine now – job well done Little Angel!

Designed by: Alison Alexander
Performed and filmed by: Alison Alexander and Chris Mason
Music performed by: Barb Jungr and Jenny Carr
Recordings mixed by: Jonathan Lee

About Mary Pollard

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By her own admission Mary goes to the theatre far too much, and will watch just about anything. Her favourite musical is Matilda, which she has seen 12 times, but she’s also an Anthony Neilson and Shakespeare fan - go figure. She has a long history with Richmond Theatre as a Marketing Assistant, tour guide, archivist and volunteer of all sorts, but is currently battling with an MA in London’s Theatre at Roehampton University instead of making a living.