Sea tales

Geoff Fox

Naturally, 100 eight-year-olds loved it when one lighthouse keeper sneezed right into his mate's carefully-prepared sardine sandwich just as he was relishing the first mouthful - but they'd also been held spellbound by soaring sea birds and the mysterious rescue of a fisherman by a spectral figurehead from a wreck of long ago.

The nicely balanced skills of Henry Hawkes and Walter James in Theatre Alibi's The Beady Pool delight the mind's eye, so that glove puppets and a pair of flippers become an anxious puffin pursued by a fish-thieving gull; or a pile of boxes, a stool and a hand lantern conjure up the Bishop's Rock lighthouse. Under Nikki Sved's inventive direction, narration slides into performance and back again, using a variety of voices, sounds, props, the odd hat, straight acting and mime.

These tales from the Scillies, newly devised for 5 to 10-year-olds by Daniel Jamieson, enhance the company's well-earned reputation for excellence in story theatre. Each term, the show is fully booked with more than 100 performances to more than 12,000 children mainly in the south-west. It is well worth catching at public venues - mostly at weekends - in Frome, Dorchester and the company's home city, Exeter.

Details: 01392 217315

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