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Theatre Review: DragonQuest

Joy Watters reviews 'a splendid hour of magic and mystery with sights and sounds to delight'.

Ever-inventive Edinburgh theatre company Vision Mechanics has taken the technology of today to conjure up an ancient world, teeming with mythical creatures, in the midst of Angus woodland.

Its current production DragonQuest uses Monikie Country Park as the setting for a beguiling journey. Vision Mechanics’ previous projects include Big Man Walking, the UK’s largest puppet at 26 feet tall, which has bestridden Scotland like a giant McColossus, fascinating onlookers. DragonQuest too intrigues as small groups make their way round a section of wood in search of a dragon with a warning from the guides, all members of the Dragons’ Protection League, to beware the trolls.

Billed as the first ever use of Augmented Reality in a live show, participants download a special App which is then used to focus on a series of tags, sited round the woodland, revealing a host of animated inhabitants from hobgoblins to silver faeries. A series of beautifully illuminated installations woven into the landscape reveal such delights as giant dragons’ eggs nestling in the branches and even a lovely pile of dragon poo. There’s the added drama of the mysterious disappearance of researchers Petra and Dan, shown on video getting into a tricky spot. Their deserted caravan is full of their work and the sinister poachers’ price list of bits of dragon.

An adventure suitable for all ages, children of a sensitive disposition are warned it may not be for them. Further advice is to wrap up warm and take a torch for when the light goes. Indeed, Nature has its role to play too as the darkness encroaches adding to the atmosphere. Our trip finished with the sight of a wonderful crescent moon and twinkling stars as geese honked overhead.

Director Symon Macintyre and his team have created a splendid hour of magic and mystery with sights and sounds to delight.

Runs until November 1.

Tags: theatre

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