Delve into a world of memories at The Lemon Tree this weekend. Little ones will be mesmerised as a sleepy attic full of cobwebs and boxes comes to life.
Aimed at two to five-year-old children, The Attic has been devised by 35-year-old Hazel Darwin-Clements and Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years organisation which specialise in creating performances for babies, toddlers and young children. An actor and theatre maker, Hazel enjoys working on all sorts of performance projects but has always had a special interest in creating work for young audiences.
Originally from Edinburgh, Hazel has been involved in theatre since she was a child. She is the creator of The Attic and also plays the role of Lucy. The show follows Lucy and Granny as they adventure into an attic full of memories where they discover a magical place. Set to a live and original piano score, The Attic will entertain little ones and their adults, welcoming them into the creative world of theatre.
What is the story of The Attic?
Granny is searching in the attic for something she wants to give Lucy, only she’s forgotten what it is. While searching through the suitcases and hat boxes, they find all sorts of magical, unusual and exciting surprises.
How long have you been working on the show?
We created the show seven years ago during a year-long residency I had at the Byre Theatre. So, somewhat poetically, it’s been in storage for a while. We dusted it off just before Christmas and this tour takes us until May.
Who are the characters in The Attic?
Lucy is a lively, adventurous child with an appetite for mischief. Granny, played by Gowan Calder, is a bit bonkers and sometimes her thoughts become tangled. But she shares Lucy’s sense of fun and has the time to play.
What can audiences expect visually?
There’s a gorgeous set designed by Karen Tennant filled with trunks and hat boxes. There are some quirky knitted props and a Pom-Pom bird puppet called Richard.
Why was the decision made to set the show to a live piano score?
I suppose I think a lot about creating the right atmosphere when making a show and live music has a special magic to it. In this show we were celebrating theatricality, which the piano embodies so beautifully.
What is the significance of the music?
The music underscores the action. The language is carefully chosen and used sparingly, as most of the storytelling in the piece is physical, so the music is essential for creating the journey of the show.
Why did you decide on The Attic as the name for the show?
The show is set in Granny’s attic. I remember my own Granny’s attic was a really exciting place full of stories and things to dress up in, and that was one of the inspirations for the show.
Who is the show mainly aimed at?
It’s aimed at two to five-year-olds and the adults that come with them to see it. The show has a multi-generational appeal so it’s great when grandparents come along with their grandchildren.
What will people particularly enjoy about coming to see the production?
I think people are surprised how the show captures both very young imaginations as well as striking a chord with the grown-ups. The music is a real treat and the atmosphere is magical.
What is your favourite part of the show?
The show ends in an interactive tea party below the stars. I love seeing the different responses of audiences who want to mimic parts of the show and use their own imagination to become part of our world. They get really involved, dressing up and eating knitted cake.
Why should Aberdeen audiences come along to see the show?
This would be a really special first experience of going to the theatre for little ones. It’s pitched perfectly to captivate big imaginations in wee people.
The Attic is on at The Lemon Tree this Saturday, April 14. See www.aberdeenperformingarts.com