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Theatre Review: Running Wild ****

Jo Turbitt reviews a 'moving, funny and devastating' production.

A captivating production, bringing the story and characters to life with gorgeous spirited playfulness and intense brutality, Michael Muopurgo’s Running Wild is a story of extreme loss, devastation and a lesson in listening to the voice of the child both inside us and in our lives.

Adapted for stage by Samuel Anderson, the show is moving, funny and devastating, and at each moment we are with the characters because of the excellent direction (Timothy Shreader and Dale Rooks) and design of the piece.

Structured in an episodic, filmic style, the piece moves seamlessly from moment to moment, from hilarious to heart breaking in a lighting que, holding the audience close. It has textures not only in the set design but in the staging and use of the ensemble; they swept through with grace, merging in and out of scenes, creating environments, gently leading us through the work like a lulling brook.

Coming in and out of characters of supporting roles, the ensemble form the story around Lilly, our main character. India Brown is stunning as Lilly, who at 11 years old has the gumption and presence of a well-seasoned actor. Her connection with her fellow actors and the puppets is brilliant, especially with Oona the elephant, her saviour and companion on her adventure.

My 12 year old companion, a big Morpurgo fan, had a fantastic evening, commenting on how ace and also how intense the piece was. A must see for all Morpurgo fans, and anyone who loves a good story.

At the Edinburgh King's until May 6 before continuing its UK tour.

Tags: theatre

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