A while ago, we told you about
the play adaptation of The Firework-Maker’s Daughter
on at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, Cumbria (UK). The play is on until the 7th of the January so there’s still a while left to go and see it! Let our reviewer, Rosie, help you decide…
“It’s hard to think of a more dramatic setting for drama than the Theatre by the Lake, surrounded as it is by snow-clad fells reflected in the tranquil Derwent Water. On a chilly December evening it’s also good to come inside to find some seasonal warmth, and Stephen Russell’s dramatisation of The Firework-Maker’s Daughter
provides warmth in abundance.
The warmth doesn’t only come from the play’s tropical setting, amongst the Indonesian rainforests accompanied by gamalan orchestra. The cast throw themselves into the production with gusto. Vera Chok, in the lead, is a suitably feisty Lila (now what does that name remind me of?), the girl who scorns the idea of marrying a prince in the traditional pantomime way, and the irrepressible bounciness she puts into her quest for the secret of the perfect firework is infectious. Mitesh Soni is good as Lila’s humble but devoted admirer, but it’s Declan Wilson as her eternal foil, whether as elephant-master or inept pirate, who puts real fizz into the show every bit as much as the backstage crew who provide the pyrotechnics for the climactic firework competition and the simple but beautiful sets. Joanna Holden is also memorable, variously as a hapless pirate, hapless villager and a tyrant king who makes up in cruelty what she lacks in stature. And then there’s the elephant. How could one forget the elephant?
Philip Pullman is always a very theatrical novelist and The Firework-Maker’s Daughter
, as with the earlier Count Karlstein
, has its roots in a school play he wrote in his teaching days drawing on ancient folk tales. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the book makes the transition to the stage so seamlessly. It’s not only children who will find this a memorable Christmas show.”
You can book tickets at the Theatre By The Lake website