ANYTIME THE WIND CAN CHANGE (BUT THANKFULLY IT STAYED CALM TONIGHT!)
BY SARA DARLING
In typical Brighton fashion, the show must go on! And even though we didn’t have our annual jolly May Festival, with all the Fringe delights that come with it, many items on the agenda were re-scheduled for autumn.
With ample venues offering suitable social distancing space, the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) is a fine example of how to host a performance- set in the charming amphitheatre setting in Dyke Road Park. And what a show I settled on for premier jaunt into the autumn agenda. Starting with a burst of the mesmerising Benjamin Yellowitz, performing an acoustic set as the sun set.
Written and directed by Alex Podger, I was intrigued as to how a hand-crafted shadow puppet show would mesmerise adults. But ‘Anytime The Wind Can Change’ is based around a contemporary folktale about love and human kindness- with real-time narration and live music adding to the indulgence.
The story revolves around Naut and Astrid- two giants who are living separate and lonely lives on opposite sides of an ocean with a community of ‘normal size’ people who although they accept the giants, are pretty set in their mundane ways,
With just two (hidden actors) pulling their strings, the show unravels with detailed representations of seagulls, school children, sea creatures, housewives and even spoons, whilst the story unfolds with human narration stage left.
Pre-technology, this love struck pair send messages to each other on the wings of birds, as their passion increases with the torment of being kept apart. However their plan to eventually unite is thwart with disaster as the ocean is cursed with a storm which causes chaos with life on the South Island, and soon Astrid is shipwrecked, The disaster leave Naut distraught, and he has no reassurances from his island that they will help to save his love, However, Astrid is heading to seek refuge with Naut, and as she is getting closer, the islanders drift further apart.
Accompanied by a live score- led by singer/songwriter Yellowitz, the two giants are united with a joyful reminder that it’s ok to ask for help, and that the world is not as ugly as it is often made out to be.
Written and directed by Alex Podger
Puppets by The New Shadow Cabinet
Produced and Narrated by Alex Gomar
Music by Benjamin Yellowitz, Sian Herbert
Title Song by Kavisha Mazella + Arnold Zable
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