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Breaking the Ice

Katy Costigan and Victoria Dyson in Breaking the Ice. Photographer: Ludovic des Cognets Katy Costigan and Victoria Dyson in Breaking the Ice. Photographer: Ludovic des Cognets

The ever-inventive Filskit Theatre’s avowed ‘passion for microprojection’ guarantees plenty of ‘as if by magic’ moments in their playful family shows. The wintry landscape created for their latest production for two-to-five year olds conjures ice holes, snowprints and the aurora borealis in a pretty display of technical wizardry.

The base-layer for the Arctic adventure couldn’t be simpler. One human, one husky and one polar bear interact on a brilliant white set, on to which reflecting pools containing bear-eluding, silvery fish, paw tracks and branching cracks appear at the three performers’ bidding.

There are no words: mood changes are conveyed by a mesmerising soundtrack by Torgeir Vassvik, a vocalist from Finnmark (Norwegian Lapland), who embellishes the thrumming, throaty Sami traditional chants with ice-crackling, wind-whistling sound effects and accompaniment from guitars, drums, bells and viola.

Onstage, Katy Costigan delivers an endearingly comic turn as the photographer slightly baffled by a bouncy husky (Victoria Dyson’s canine capering is neatly balletic) and initially petrified by Sarah Shephard’s imposing, expressive polar bear.

The animal costumes are spare, but effective – husky grey and polar white cotton, with pawprint mitts and headdresses of plain tongue-and-groove construction – perfectly suited to the pared-down beauty of this pleasing snippet of Scandi drama.

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Visually and aurally rewarding, inclusive theatre with outstanding original music for the very young