Writers: Darius Nash & Tamar Eluned Williams
Reviewer: Beth Steer
Stories for the Silver Tree alternates between mythical landscapes and personal narrative to follow the tale of Bran, a young girl trying to find her place in the world, as she travels roads as yet unknown.
This is a fresh and innovative storytelling performance, comprised solely of two storyteller/musicians (Darius Nash and Tamar Eluned Williams) and their range of instruments; the show combines narrative, music and song to tell Bran’s tale.
The pair cleverly set the scene as Bran encounters various characters – a mix of human, and other – who try to corrupt or exploit her. Their use of different and interesting instruments and their ability to harmonise so well together in song and performance demonstrates their clear musical talent, and the piece is a very novel take on traditional storytelling.
There’s a level of audience participation, including the use of a loop pedal, that keeps people engaged, and, at only an hour long, Stories for The Silver Tree is a snappy piece of theatre that holds attention.
It’s a self-proclaimed work in progress, and there are bits that could be somewhat tightened up. Some of the encounters Bran has represented musically by the pair are a little confusing, and, though the level of metaphor is clearly heavy, it gets a little lost along the way. The staging too is incredibly simple – part of the piece’s charm, admittedly – but it could do with some clever lighting to increase the atmosphere and pinpoint attention. The venue proved a little distracting – given the number of small shops and trinkets that were equally as well lit as the performance, as a result of the harsh overhead lighting. It wouldn’t take too much to make it a great deal more enchanting.
This is a clever piece that combines old stories and contemporary methods to produce an hour’s worth of lighthearted entertainment. It’s fairly intense – and not one for people who don’t enjoy being sung to at close proximity – but a well thought out performance, with bags of enthusiasm and talent.
Runs until 22 July 2017 | Image: Contributed