Theatre in Wales

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Bounce and eagerness beyond measure!

How To Be A Kid

Roundabout , Theatr Clwyd , July-05-17
 How To Be A Kid  by Roundabout How To Be A Kid is the first co-operation between Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre in the new Roundabout. This is a flat-pack, pop-up theatre that travels in the back of a lorry and can be built in theatres, car parks, fields or, in this case, on top of a mini hill outside a theatre.

Inside it's an experience not unlike being in a mini circus tent and the same company will be performing three new plays. This first one is a play for children about children but don't let that deter you, it is a funny, enchanting delight for the whole of its 55 minutes.

Molly is 12 and is having to grow up very quickly, her beloved Nan has just died and her Mum is finding it difficult to cope with the loss. So Molly finds that she is having to look after her, very annoying, little brother Joe. There is a respite when Joe goes off to stay with his Dad, Mum goes in to hospital and Molly goes into care. Luckily there she meets Taylor, a girl she bonds with instantly, but then she has to go back home and the pressures mount. She finds she's forgotten how to be a kid and the adult responsibilities get too much.

That all sounds rather heavy but, thanks to the writing and above all the acting, it really isn't. Katie Elin-Salt as Molly is all bounce and eagerness as she finds how easily she can grow up but it soon starts to crumble as she realises how hard it is. Her relationship with Joe is delightful, especially all the times she finds his bounce and eagerness irritating beyond measure.

Hasan Dixon, the tallest member of the cast, is excellent as the little brother, being dinosaurs, trying to fly, being ever hungry. Sally Messham as everybody else is astonishing. I lost count of the number of times she seemed to change size, age and shape without appearing to do anything.

I really enjoyed this glorious show, I learned about Taylor Swift and I found myself really looking forward to the other two plays in Roundabout.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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