Butterfly Psyche has created a wonderful world in the Rondo this Christmas, transforming the small space into an interactive magical market place in which the audience can explore before being transported into a visually thrilling adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck's classic tale.
The company work seamlessly together, switching and creating characters in a blink of an eye, each one as committed and convincing as the next. The design (Natalie Remington) is captivating - a wonderful imaginative world where nothing is quite as it seems. Beautifully lit by Luke J Emmett, there is something here for every generation.
The tale is thatof Tyltyl (Clare McMahon) a young boy who goes on a quest with his faithful dog Tylo (Louis Labovitch) to find a bluebird who can "light any dark and calm any storm." Unsurprisingly, there are challenges along the way, meeting lost loved ones and making decisions that will shape his future.
This is a heartwarming, uplifting piece; the writing captures both integrity and truth of emotions, the huge imagination in the direction and production ensures a swift moving tale, full of heart and warmth to keep out the coldest winter chill.
The company are outstanding, alongside the two central characters; Fliss Russell is a fabulous fairy and a great comic presence. The local Bath Dance College students provide good support and set a cheery mood in the opening section.
Highly recommended viewing for any age and all the family, this is one of the most thought provoking, visually stunning festive shows in recent years; a triumph for this venue and their support of new writing.
The Bluebird plays at the Rpndo Theatre, Bath until Saturday 21 December.
- Petra Schofield