The Crystal Cage– Smock Alley Theatre- Review by Julie Melia
Ofegus Theatre Company are back with another show for children. ‘The Crystal Cage’ runs until November 2nd in Smock Alley Theatre. As with previous shows, the story is set in the Kingdom of Enchantasia. Someone has caused the rainbows to disappear, which not only has consequences for colour in the kingdom, but the banker leprechauns won’t be able to locate their gold. The Great Wizard Strogroth (the excellent Stephen Gorman) and his motley crew of magical creatures must find the culprits and save the day.
This small space (complete with fairy-tale balcony) suits their shows perfectly as the children are very much involved. Francesco Bufali’s minimalist set calls for the audience to use their imagination as scenes change fast and many actors are playing more than one part. The fairies are very sweetly played in beautiful costumes by Nina Flood and writer/director Lesley Lalor.
Conor Moloney brings fantastic energy to the part of Mulligan the leprechaun. The black fairies are brilliantly mean valley girls. In one instance, a kind nerd (Maggie Donovan) and a vain black fairy (Amy Flood) are sent to a ‘truth and beauty lab’ and the mean fairy is made-under to show her inner ugliness. However, the nerd loses her tunic, specs and plaits for a dodgy wig and gown with the message that inner beauty will shine through. This reviewer’s daughters thought she looked much better as herself though.
The plot becomes quite complicated and may lose some of the younger audience, but they’ll be dazzled by the brilliant performances (and who doesn’t love a gratuitous mermaid?). It’s definitely a lovely show to bring small people to. This run finishes on Sunday but they’re back with ‘Pirates in the Kingdom of Enchantasia’ in the same venue from 27th Dec – 4th Jan.
The Crystal Cage runs at Smock Alley Theatre – Mon 27th October – Sun 2nd November in The Boys’ School