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1927 Theatre Company’s innovative style of narrative charms and entertains in equal measure

Edinburgh Festival 
Roots
The Church Hill Theatre
★★★★

 
 

“A RATHER ragtag collection of folk jokes and stories” presented in “a combination of live music, pre-recorded stories voiced by non-actors, animation, acting and live dialogue.”

Writer Suzanne Andrade’s description of her production hardly captures what must be one of the most joyous shows in this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

The award-winning 1927 Theatre Company’s innovative style of melding images, reminiscent of black and white silent films — the company’s name gives a clue — with back and front projections, “colour” added by the marionette-like live performers, charms all but the most sophisticatedly resistant audiences back to the delights of childhood.

These folk tales avoid any moralising, although we can all draw our own conclusions.

In one tale the greedy fat cat eats not only his owner’s porridge but his owner and goes on to devour the entire world including the devil and God himself, while in another the poor man struggles to evict his permanent lodger, Poverty.

Certainly the Patient Griselda story has no need to labour the feminist message.

It is all great fun although one grudging critic complained that it has nothing to say about the world, nor any compelling reason to be here now. Surely we all deserve some relief from the reality outside the theatre?

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