Only thing I knew was The Old Vic had a history of having outstanding production with the occasion distinguished actors such as Ian McKellen. This would mark the first ever time I would enter the theatre I would walk past every afternoon coming from school as I grew up in the Waterloo area.
I went in this completely blind. Blinder than being blindfolded in a pitch black room.
Never looked or seen the novel this was based off let alone its multi-award winning 2016 cinematic rendition.
Just getting a glimpse of this poster doesn’t fully convey that this would truly make your “heart plunge and soar“.
I was fully immersed yet confused at the opening of the production with rather abrupt and odd imagery from the get go. This perfect outlined the uneasy feeling throughout the show that came to a fulfilling and heartbreaking solution at the end.
This story revolves around a young teenage boy and his encounters with an ancient tree monster to nagivate through the turmoil that arise from having a terminally ill mother, an estranged father, a strict mother and relentlessly being bullying at school.
This powerful monster visits young Conor O’Malley in a form of a nightmare who proceeds to tell the boy three tales all with an underlining moral and unexpected true. Until Conor is forced and confronted by his every own story that he must say to the Monster.
The art direction, lighting backgrounds and the creative use of ropes on stage made it the production not just an emotional but a visual bombardment in the most immersive way possible.
The small light band box on the top right displays the two instrumentalists playing the sounds in real time, giving them as much spotlight as the actors on stage.
All of this gives us an insight on just how impressive the execution of this wildly ambitious imagery this production managed to pull of.
I was confused. I was surprised. I cried. I weeped. I applauded.
It truly sent my heart into whirl of emotion that I never expected it to would. I wasn’t mentally ready but you would most likely leave the theatre a couple of tears lighter.
Until Next Time,
Why am I a sucker for emotional pain?
This was supposed to be a regular theatre date…
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan