BRISTOL Old Vic brings its Year of Change to a triumphant conclusion with two five-star Christmas shows that underline the importance of imagination, courage and transformation.
In the newly-created Weston Studio, Ad Infinitum joins with BOV to bring colour back into a grey world, in a show that’s aimed at audiences aged from four to seven, but is an eye-opening delight for all ages.
Young Chloe lives in a world of fear where everything must be grey. The furniture, the clothes, the sky and even the cat is grey. Her parents are grey, her schoolfriends are grey and the one chink of life on the horizon is her granny, who is called a name that is a bit peculiar. She’s called Magenta.
One night Chloe goes to sleep with her beloved cat Smokey, and she dreams …. that Smokey changes colour. She’s so excited by the new vision that she tells her parents, and they are terrified. What if someone hears her mentioning such a dream.
She meets the same reaction at school, where frightened children and a paranoid teacher try to force the memory of colour out of her, even subjecting her to dreadful physical punishment.
Then it’s Grandma Magenta to the rescue, and before you know where you are she realises there’s a secret army of Rainbow Rebels, clinging onto the vibrancy of colour.
This marvellous show is performed by Charlotte Dubery as the eager and determined Chloe, with Hanora Kamen as Grandma, Peter Edwards as the teacher and the multi-talented musician Brian Hargreaves as Greyson, all playing a host of other characters, too. And not to forget Smokey.
A visit to Chloe and the Colour Catcher is a wonderful way to spend just under an hour, full of fun and audience participation, and telling a story that’s a message to us all, with no hint of preaching.
It is on until 6th January at various day times.
See also the review of A Christmas Carol, on in the main theatre until 13th January.
Photographs by Paul Blakemore