Mavis Sparkle review at the Egg, Bath – ‘sweetly lo-fi show for young children’
Mavis Sparkle is a cleaner, but she has her sights set on bigger things – the cosmos, to be exact.
Presented by M6 Theatre, this new children’s show for ages four and over charts Mavis’ dream to see the Aurora Borealis.
Eve Robertson’s Mavis is thoroughly jolly, despite the story starting with her redundancy thanks to “cut-backs”. Undeterred, she finds an advert for work on a lighthouse in Shetland. She bounds around making the stage sparkle with the help of some of glitter. There’s a lot of giggling when audience get tickled with a feather duster too.
Joss Matzen’s set design provides Mavis with a treasure-trove of a cleaning trolley. Out of hidden cupboards come pop-up flowers, china teapots and Spiky, her pet hedgehog. The detail and scale add elements of a doll’s house to the marvellous contraption.
With its tales of magicians, funfairs, seaside trips and music-box ballerinas, there’s something quaintly old fashioned about the whole show. This might be the iPad and Pixar generation, but the primary school audience are still audibly awed by sleight-of-hand magic tricks.
The most effective part of the production comes via silhouette puppets and green-tinted lighting projections created with cellophane sheeting. Where the production falls short is in never reaching its destination. Mavis’ trip to the lighthouse and lightshow are sadly cut off in favour of her backstory. Still, it’s a big-hearted show that teaches is audience the importance of aiming for the stars.
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