FamilyNorth East & YorkshireReview

The Little Things – Hull Truck Theatre

Reviewer: Ron Simpson

The Freedom Festival, running from August 24 to September 4, has enough in it to fill a 76-page programme. Most of the events, exhibitions, installations, physical theatre and dance (plus several memorably classified as “undefinable”), take place in various locations throughout the city, but Hull Truck Theatre was used for half a dozen performances.

The Little Things by La Mecanica from Mallorca proved to be clever and playful. A bare stage except for a couple of blocks illuminated with pale blue light was home to four performers (two of each gender) dancing cheerfully until one peeled off to receive a package which sounded awfully like a baby. Gradually more and more objects appeared, each treated like a small child, until at the end a dozen or so kids appeared: each time the four disappeared behind a screen, they reappeared with more children in pursuit. Finally, it was back to the beginning, except that the dancers now included the kids.

In the intervening hour, in between patches of English narration, scenes of frequently crazy humour were played out with the children/objects: a bike or a car zooming round with every sense of purpose, fun with performers balancing on a board on uneven supports, ball games that ended in a riot of balls dropping onstage from every conceivable angle. There was an entertaining interlude with a downstairs neighbour, ever-ready to mount a chair and hammer on the ceiling – or even to call the police. Scenery changed shape and assumed pictures and patterns to suit the action.

It wasn’t always easy to detect the significance of individual scenes – perhaps a child companion would have helped, children were charged with helping adults understand – but beyond doubt the programme’s description of The Little Things as “riotous, fresh and inspiring” seems about right. The near-final hug between the original recipient of the parcel and a young girl seemed touching and true.

Reviewed on 3rd September 2022.

The Reviews Hub Score

Fresh and playful

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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