We launched our new musical for children and families, The Unfurling of Indigo Higgins, on Friday, and thought you might like to see some audience feedback, as well as the review from Buxton Fringe.
“A wonderful show, that was charming from beginning to end… Inspiring! The body image theme is very cleverly told. I certainly think you should take it into schools.”
“This production has the capacity to engage with many groups of people – particularly youngsters.”
“Children these days suffer lots of peer pressure – this play will help them find their true selves.”
Buxton Fringe Review
Following their success with last year’s award-winning Swan Canaries, Arletty Theatre return with an engaging new musical. ‘The Unfurling of Indigo Higgins’ is not only a sparkling and intriguing story, but also brings an important message about the need for body positivity in today’s media dominated society.
The cast of three effectively uses interesting props and sets to create a contemporary fairytale feel through woodland aesthetics, shadow puppetry and physical theatre. The Ramshackle Crew (Daniel Webber and Kitty Randle) bring magic and the moral to the story. Poor model/skivvy ‘Flea’ is ingeniously brought to life by Kitty Randle – a captivating performer who moves beautifully. Her funny but tragic first song was very touching: Flea “hasn’t eaten since Wednesday”. The career she chose over starting a family was meant to “set her free”, but instead has her trapped “obsessively counting calories”. Although played for laughs, the concepts behind this number were sinister.
Through the character of Indigo Higgins (Imogen Joyce) we learn how imposing beauty standards on children can have a devastating effect on them later. The fashionista (once oyster, now pearl) dreams of applause, and is spurred on by the harsh words from her father to ruthlessly make her way to the top. Joyce has a superb singing voice, bringing strength to the musical numbers.
The messages of the production are “Fashions don’t last forever/ you should learn to value the fact that you’re clever” and “Why let others decide how you should feel”. Joyce (also writer and director) wrote this musical after working with children and realising people as young as seven are starting to suffer from eating disorders, and worry about their appearance. The musical tackles important, heavy issues in a fun, exciting way.
I feel that this production would be more suited as a ‘For Families’ show (or a theatre in education piece) with its simple but important message, particularly applicable to young girls… This is an energetic, inventive performance from a talented cast.
The Unfurling of Indigo Higgins will be available for bookings for schools, arts centres and village halls in spring 2016.