Sure-footed from the outset, this story for children over five has been designed to tour village halls and the like. The room is set out with tables and chairs and a huge canopy above. The audience are invited in, given raffle tickets and orange juice and introduced to the actors as they find a place.
If the story is seemingly chosen at random from the tombola drum, it is no surprise when a sleeping Andy Clark is tricked into playing Gobbo, a field goblin from Skye who hates adventures but loves farting and rhubarb.
Soon, with the National Theatre of Scotland Ensemble telling the story and creating the other characters, Gobbo is off on his adventures with Donald Pirie as his pal Globskin and Samantha Young as Globskin’s clever daughter, Pixie Pumpkin.
Under Wils Wilson’s inventive directorial eye, mysterious highland dancers caper on the tables as Gobbo plunges to certain death, the canopy is pulled down to represent swishing eagle’s wings as he is saved and the tablecloths suddenly reappear on the shoulders of the Queen of Rhum’s guard.
Finally, with many adventures under their belts, lots of audience participation and strong musical support lead by musical director Alasdair Macrae, the room has been transformed into a central stage, with the audience around.
The story has been told, Gobbo is safe at home and the children of Rhum all saved. But sadly, it is time to go home. Skilfully told, this highly inventive production is a treat for young and old alike.