This was our first self-adapted complete story, author Pearl Morrison and her family came to see the show in Edinburgh and were absolutely delighted with the outcome.
More excellent reviews came from The Herald and Three Weeks, both kindly rating us with four stars (below).
Cast: Archie Stringweed – Callum Battersby, Cecile Stringweed – Henrietta Fforde-Lutter, Jeffrey Stringweed – Matthew Hodgkin, Rufus Stringweed – George Collins, Grandpa Stringweed & Gustaff Knight- Rob Lees, Ezra Arbuthnott – Caroline Wilson, Georgina – Katie Davies and Katie Wheeler, Sid – Ronan Hatfull, Postwoman/Squire – Sarah Sherriff, Chief Icegull – Georgia Scarr, Ice Gulls – Charlotte Coventry, Sarah Sherriff, Katie Tattersdill, Sophy McGivern, Queen Huigor – Flora Denman, Wind Sprites – Katie Davies, Katie Wheeler, Flora Denman, Abigail Kalikwani, Millie Poulson, Katrina Findlay, Franziska Kraushaar
Music by Dan Morton, Clarisse Loughrey and Rachel Brooks
Choreography by Georgia Scarr
Stage Manager Elfie Courcolt
Make up by Nula Stephen
Costumes by Rhia Whitnell
The Wind Tamer, The Quaker Meeting House
Star rating: ****
Mr Fizzywigg’s Story Factory, Sweet Apex
Star rating: ***
Let The Earth Breathe, The Acoustic Music Centre @ St Brides
Star rating: ***
Much has been said of the brain drain factor involved in the mobile phones and zip-zappy computer games that seem to occupy the attentions of today’s kids. So it is a pleasure to make the counter-claim that challenging, entertaining and educational live theatre can still prove as diverting as anything with a SIM card.
The Wind Tamer, an imaginative new production by Newbury Youth Theatre, is a case in point. Made by kids for kids, under the deft direction of Amy and Tony Trigwell-Jones, it tells the story of unhappy and rather gormless hero Archie Stringweed. Archie is the yearly recipient of very strange gifts from an absent uncle, and when he starts listening to the wind and the creatures carried upon it, things really get interesting. Swathes of little pilots swish and sway into the scene as a warning to Archie to avoid the strange, whispering winds who dance across the stage. A charming, idiosyncratic and perfectly-realised Green Welly Brigade neighbour makes her presence known, while sophisticated music, skilfully played, adds menace and madness when needed. And above all, the ensemble shines in this dynamic and well-choreographed piece. The plot may prove a bit complicated, but The Wind Tamer is so interesting to watch that this hardly matters.
Three Weeks ****
The Wind Tamer
Newbury Youth Theatre
This strong, talented youth company give an impressive performance of ‘The Wind Tamer’, oozing so much vim and verve that it’s sure to leave you with a smile on your face. The engaging bedtime story is brought to life by a cast of about 30 enthusiastic young performers, and it is certainly unusual to see so many outstanding individuals in a local theatre company. A fantastic moving set adds to this show, providing a focal point used by the children in a broad variety of ways, whilst the enchanting tale will delight both older children and adults. Given the skill of this youthful cast, it’s not surprising that the company sold out last year.