You can always rely on Little Angel for respectful work. And this exquisite miniature show is no exception. It respects the children and others in the audience. It respects the transformational magic of puppetry and it respects the power of storytelling.
The “invisible” silvery Tear Thief steals the colour-coded tears of weeping children so that they’re happy again. She finds them by listening at the chimneys of a large apartment block so there are lovely games with scale involving puppets of different sorts in rooms and huge chimney pots. With impeccable (recorded) narration by Juliet Stevenson, the story is underpinned by James Hesford’s gently evocative music - some recorded and some played on stage on cello, harmonica and violin played on lap as if it were a diminutive cello. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s words are a delight in themselves. She uses rhythmic prose and some nice word choices such as the list of synonyms - nick, filch, purloin and so on - which all mean steal.
The story is told gently but incisively with Lowri James and Claire Harvey slickly operating and voicing stick, shadow, table top and other puppets like half visible magicians in the darkness behind the action. There are quite long, wordless sequences when the audience simply watches and hears music. Definitely another triumph for Little Angel.