Transferring from the National Theatre to the New London Theatre, The Elephantom is the stage adaptation of Ross Collins’ children’s book about a blue ghost Elephant that arrives into a little girl’s uneventful daily life. As I waited for the play to start I already felt at home: the cozy environment created on stage by Samyel Wyer’s design, the welcoming music and the children’s happiness all around me made my excitement grow.
The standard of this production is very high: there are no spoken words, yet the performers are incredibly accurate and gracious with their movement and with the puppets of the Elephants. Laura Cubbit is the perfect example of this as she embodies and defines the character of the girl’s mother with her gracious, controlled, self-centered and jumpy movements in a hilarious partnership with the Dad played by Tim Lewis. It is a fast-moving play that entertains and marvels children and adults – a difficult challenge achieved by the company and the directors Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié. Susan Harrison as the little girl completely convinced me that she was in fact a little girl. She brings a delightful innocence and simplicity to this obedient child. The puppets are giant elephants energetically commanded by David Emmings, Julia Innocenti and Avye Leventis, and every time an Elephantom enters the stage it truly feels like a wave of joy overwhelming the audience.
The music, composed and played live by Adam Pleeth is absolutely genius in the task of accompanying the plot and making us dive straight into this magical representation of life. It takes us through the journey of the story: the initial thrill becomes a problem as the Elephantoms, though adorable, are causing too much trouble in the little girl’s life and something must be done to stop them.
This is a simple and funny story that will undoubtedly make you smile. It is worth seeing this show even without a child holding your hand. Once again, the National Theatre strives and succeeds in producing high-quality work for all types of audiences, innovating and dazzling us. 5/5
Review written by Sofia Moura.
The Elephantom is currently showing at New London Theatre until Saturday 6th September. For more information on the production, visit here…