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Hatch review at Polka Theatre, London – ‘musically adventurous’

The cast of Hatch at the Polka Theatre, London. Photo: The Other Richard The cast of Hatch at the Polka Theatre, London. Photo: The Other Richard

Toddlers are fascinated by hatching eggs. If you don’t happen to know any toddlers, this might come as a surprise, but theatremakers Adriano Adewale and Peter Glanville are clearly in on the secret.

Hatch is a music theatre piece conceived around this small drama of transformation. A non-verbal (and non-operatic) co-production between the Polka Theatre and the Royal Opera, it sees two performers explore the potential of air, water, earth, wood and fire to make music – and transport the egg that provides the show’s centrepiece.

Sophia Lovell Smith’s enticing set, subtly illuminated by Aaron J Dootson, evokes both a jungle and a peacock’s tail; in a clever twist, it exploits the title’s secondary meaning, offering multiple concealed nooks that tease the young audience’s sense of curiosity.

Adewale’s music is full of tricks too. The emphasis on the natural elements ensures that bath time at home will never lack a musical accompaniment again.

The adults will enjoy the languid Latin melodies and the show’s intrinsic cleverness, but 40 minutes without an option to touch or play any of the exciting instruments will test some of the toddlers’ attention spans, especially given a promise of the highly anticipated pay-off. Though technically accomplished it feels like the process of making this show might have been lacking the involvement and input of children.

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Musically adventurous and accomplished production lacking in opportunities for audience interaction