QUICK AS YOU CAN: THE LIGHTNING PLAYS | Scene & Heard, London

These ten new plays all have a few things in common. They’re all short, they all feature exactly three non-human characters, and they’re all written by 10-year-olds. Adult, professional actors and directors (from TV, film and West End) have volunteered their time to bring these astonishing new works to life.

The audience’s hysteria at these rambling, surrealist and utterly innocent tales is unlike anything else. The personification of friction, Francesca Rubbin’ (Hayley Carmichael), a 72 million-year-old velociraptor skull called Jeff (Michael Palmer) and Slaughterino the salmon (Jonny Freeman) are just three of the utterly deranged characters we have the pleasure of meeting.

While there is great joy to be gleaned from the mad surrealism on show, this does not do justice to the moments of profound beauty, half-accidental, like “a light breeze” (Maggie O’Brien) realising that once she touches the ocean she can never return; “it’s like my heaven”. The insight also into children’s minds, moralities and relationships is unparalleled.

Stunning costumes and props, and music (Ronnie Paris) lift the standard even further. It is one of the purest theatrical experiences imaginable, where every rule is broken leading to magical results. To claim that this is just a confidence-boosting exercise for the children and their families is naïve; this is for the audience, this is for the world.

Find out more and book for the next one at www.sceneandheard.org.

The Prickle - About transp

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