Nicola Harvey and her eight year old son review At The End of Everything Else at the egg theatre, Bath
It’s an all too rare treat to spend an hour or so with my son, and what better way to spend it than at the the egg theatre in Bath?
We love the egg for all sorts of reasons. Today, we weren’t here for the café, tempting as it was, but to see At The End of Everything Else. We took our seats in the purpose built, child friendly theatre. Already intrigued by the four performers pedalling with their feet and hands, Noah settled in.
At The End of Everything Else was a beautiful mix of film and shadow puppetry. Icka is a young girl who lives with her father and leads a fairly ordinary life. The show doesn’t shy away from themes that will resonate strongly with young children; Icka’s mother had died when Icka was born. I sometimes wonder whether a warning is needed when ideas like bereavement are to be introduced, but perhaps children are more able to process them than adults. The production was always positive even when addressing Icka’s thoughts and feelings about her mother and the powerful and poetic story, narrated by one of the performers was truly moving.
Icka’s fairly ordinary life, depicted as a journey on her bicycle, is interrupted by her discovery, on the way home from school, of Tito. Tito is a baby bird whose mother has also died, so Icka adopts the baby bird and nurtures until he is ready to fly away. The story doesn’t end with Icka’s sadness at his departure though; this is the point that the narrative switches seamlessly from a simple take rooted into reality into a gentle fantasy. All ends well for Icka and Tito after a world travelling adventure and we were left considering the environmental issues that are one of the themes of the piece.
I loved this performance, but what did Noah think? He claims that it was a little dull, but when we talked more about it, I think we came to the conclusion that it was more gentle than dull. He was captivated throughout and sometimes it’s nice, even at the grand old age of nearly eight, to see a piece of theatre that is more art than high octane. I would probably recommend it more to children at the lower end of the 6-9 age range, but recommend it I certainly would.