Get our free email newsletter with just one click

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.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Visually and aurally rewarding, inclusive theatre with outstanding original music for the very young