Last year, The Road That Wasn’t There took out a gong in my books for being one of the best shows of the year. So when I heard that creators Trick of the Light were putting on a new show while I was down in Wellington, I got very excited.
Then I missed out on tickets. It was quite disappointing but I figured that tickets selling out probably didn’t mean that I definitely could not go, just that I had to try harder. So try harder I did and to the show I went. The effort was not wasted.
Created by Ralph McCubbin Howell and Hannah Smith and performed by Ralph and directed by Hannah, The Bookbinder is a magical story of a bookbinders apprentice who didn’t do quite the job he was asked.
After muffing up a job quite spectacularly (for a witch no less!) the bookbinders apprentice finds himself transported to another world, he must make right his mistake before he may return home.
Like The Road That Wasn’t There, The Bookbinder is another example of superb story telling. A story doesn’t have to be big and complicated and change the world, it can simply entertain and brighten people’s days in the process. That is what this play does.
In the programme Trick of the Light describe that after The Road That Wasn’t There being so big, they wanted to make something small but just as special. Set in a back room, full of books at Arty Bees bookstore they have achieved this. Ralph, an anglepoise lamp, pop up book and standard lamp are the key players in a show that uses shadow play and puppetry to tell its story.
Technically this makes it very small, (no dimmer pack needed here) but the world it creates is vast. You can taste it, feel it, see it, you’re pulled right in.
Hannah and Ralph said that the show was still in its early stages and asked for any commentary we had as an audience to improve the show. So honesty hat on! Largely there was not a single moment where I got bored or waited to be entertained. I was there from moment go. If I would change anything I’d say less intro, more adventure, more shadowplay!
In my not so humble opinion Trick of the Light are one of the most exciting little theatre companies around. If you get the opportunity to see one of their shows you must!
On that point, The Bookbinder’s life has only just begun so keep an ear out for it coming near you! It’s in Dunedin from the 13th!