The Crystal Cage – Mill Theatre – Review by Audrey Devereux
Presented by Ofegus Theatre
Mill Theatre, Dundrum, October 30th-Nov 1st 2018, 2.30pm
Ofegus Theatre visited the Mill Theatre in Dundrum for a re-run of their children’s show ‘The Crystal Cage’, written and directed by Leslie Lalor. The Crystal Cage is part of the company’s ‘Enchantasia’ series of plays, set in a magical land inhabited by wizards, leprechauns, fairies and mermaids.
In the Crystal Cage, the good Wizard Strogroth and his magical band of fairies (and a mermaid) must use their wits and spells to battle the evil Wizard Zavelthor, attempting to return stolen rainbows to the Kingdom of Enchantasia before the whole realm is drained of colour and turns to black. The story unfolds as the eight-strong ensemble cast double up to play a myriad of characters involved in the fight to save the colour of the kingdom. What the plot lacked in clarity was more than made up for in the actors’ gleeful and skilful portrayal of the ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’; the enjoyment of same was delightfully evident in the enthralled faces of the children in the audience.
The Dark Fairies (Niamh Hogan and Amy Flood) were deliciously horrible and came to the fore in a funny fight scene with Mulligan the Clurachuan (a kind of leprechaun, excellently played by Tom Duffy) and at one point in the show a good fairy (Catherine Bell) looked to the audience to participate with a magic spell, this reviewer and my small one couldn’t help but wish there was more of this type of action and interaction earlier in the play too. We also thought Schnump, the nerdy goblin/fairy (Sophie Dobson) looked very cute in her glasses and didn’t really need a magic makeover and a long wig to help show her inner beauty.
Projected backdrops of watercolours by Geraldine O’Rourke provided the main setting, with minimal, key props being brought on and off, including the eponymous ‘Crystal Cage’. Beautiful costumes by Leslie Lalor and Lydia Constance Dorman and dramatic lighting effects by Barry Donaldson truly created the whole feel of the magical world.