Theatre works best when it offers a space for the audience to put their imagination to work and we all know that children’s imaginations are the most fertile of all. Tutti Frutti are clearly very well aware of the exciting possibilities that open up within the domain of children’s theatre. The sky is quite literally the limit in When We Lived in Uncle’s Hat!
Most striking of all are the array of landscapes and locations brought to life using physical theatre. The story follows Boy and his family in their search for the perfect home and the cast of four transport the audience from place to place using only minimal set and props. Live music and tuneful atmospheric sound effects, performed on stage by the cast themselves; combine with clever choreography and humorous attention-to-detail mime to offer an enchanting immersive experience.
The language is perfectly pitched and the pace sees the audience focussed and rooted to their seat. The cast of four ably deliver a range of well rounded characters, differentiated using distinctive physical signatures. As an ensemble they are charming, slick and cohesive.
I am less convinced by some of the motivations for the family’s house moves and I do feel that the script lacked the logic necessary to fully satisfy the adults in the audience. However, the visual spectacle more than made up for this and the children’s less logical needs are fully met.