Joyful, lively adaptation reworked for the web by the Unicorn Theatre
After its success last year, the Unicorn Theatre’s stage anthology of Anansi stories has been reworked for the web.
The stories – staples of West African and Caribbean folklore – are told so smartly and succinctly, and with such a sense of fun. The cast of three, Afia Abusham, Sapphire Joy and Juliet Okotie, have recorded in their homes separately, but director Justin Audibert and editor Todd MacDonald have blended the performances together so that we get songs and chants (composed by Duramaney Kamara), and a real sense that the actors are right there with each other.
Audibert has picked three stories for the online version, which have been released over the past few weeks and are remaining online until July 27: Anansi’s run-in with Brother Snake, his attempt to have two dinners, and his plot to steal all the wisdom in the world.
As well as the bright colours from Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey’s costumes, popping against the clean white backgrounds, the busy editing from MacDonald and the fun script, what seals it are the lovely performances from Abusham, Joy and Okotie.
The stories run between 10 and 15 minutes and are aimed at ages three to eight, making for lovely bitesize chunks to engage kids – ideal as bedtime stories.
It’s not only a smart move from a venue that has always provided the highest quality theatre to young people – and continues to do so in strained circumstances – but a real joy too.