Venue 61, Underbelly, Cowgate
This is a deceptively simple story of a young boy in an Irish fishing village and one big storm. Much time is given over to creating atmosphere, the actual storm accounts for only a small proportion of the full running time. But the emotional depth and subtle beauty of the story shine through to create something truly magical.
Like Little Cauliflower’s Fringe debut, Street Dreams, Night of the Big Wind combines live music, a distinctive set, physical theatre and stunning puppetry to create an impressively immersive and distinct aesthetic. The combination is immediately evocative and looks wonderful. The storm is particularly beautifully rendered, with dramatic sounds and some magical special effects which serve well to heighten the emotional climax.
One can’t help but suspect that the quiet charms of this production are likely to be more fully appreciated by adults than children raised on a diet of television soundbites, yet the children sat behind this reviewer loudly voiced their approval the moment the lights went up. It is worth remembering that the company also have a dedicated children’s production, The Machine, also showing this month.
Little Cauliflower’s Night of the Big Wind is literally a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded festival schedule.