Yolande Snaith Theatredance, The Thing that changes from This into That

Review in Issue 12-2 | Summer 2000

Children’s theatre can be so visual, so stunning and magical, burbles the editor of Total Theatre down my telephone. If you say so. On that promise I trundle off to see Yolande Snaith Theatredance’s new show for children aged five and above. It is described as a ‘Pandora’s Box of magical visions and wondrous experiences that will mesmerise and amaze’. Snaith, or someone in her company, seems to have something amiss. Pandora’s Box didn’t contain magical visions – it unleashed all human suffering on the world. Actually this seems fitting, as the sense of something being not quite right is one that pervades The Thing that Changes from This into That. Whilst it is supposedly inspired by ‘myths and fairy tales from around the world’, you would never know it from the surreal mix of movement scenarios performed by the five dancers.

The work is non-narrative but does not replace narrative with any particular visual or physical magic. We can see what they are getting at, but something is not quite right. Its surrealism is the kind of banal surrealism often served up to children – with oversized furniture and people jumping out of wardrobes. The dancers are charming enough and certainly perform with vigour, but again there is a sense that something is amiss as they trundle from one section to the next. I hung around the auditorium after the show surreptitiously listening to children’s reactions (looking like I should be wearing a mac). Their reactions were mixed and somewhat confused. It seems that while there are good elements within the show, those elements do not fit together into a coherent whole.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-2
p. 22