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Draw Me A Bird

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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In their first two shows, Peut-être Theatre tackled the writing of Ionesco and Lorca. Their new Brighton Festival commission Draw Me A Bird (now at Chelsea Theatre and Rich Mix in London) riffs on the poems of Prévert. A suitable sweep, given the European flavour of company and cast.

And did I mention their audiences are mostly under the age of five? Building on the belief that you don’t need to patronise young people to educate and entertain, Peut-être aim “to bring a new aesthetic to the world of theatre for children.”

Draw Me A Bird certainly looks gorgeous, its Parisian rooftop setting a cross between The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Red Balloon. Four vintage-clad dancers each draw a bird, three of them morphing into their creations, leaving the fourth (Isabelle Cressy) as narrator, musician and muse.

What follows is a delicately choreographed fable of friendship and freedom that tackles such complex ideas as the nature of loneliness and the difference between a real bird and an imaginary one. Peut-être’s talented dancers outline the picture, leaving their young audience to fill in the dots – and feed the birds, too, when invited.

The result: their almost undivided attention, proof that children’s theatre can be beautiful and brainy without losing sight of a good old-fashioned story. Bravo.


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