Finegan Kruckemeyer’s children’s fable tells the story of three triplet sisters who are reluctantly abandoned by their father in the forest and must find a way out of their predicament on their own. It’s like a feminist version of Hansel and Gretel.
The adventurous Beatrix decides to keep moving forward, to explore the terrain ahead, the nervy Albienne retraces her steps, hoping to find her way home, and contented Carmen stays exactly where she is in the hope that salvation will come.
Kruckemeyer’s play has been performed around the world since its first staging in Argentina in 2011. This new musical version by Scotland’s female-focused Stellar Quines company and the children’s theatre festival Imaginate draws out the obvious allegories within the text. Director Jemima Levick’s pacy production keeps the piece crackling along with swashbuckling energy.
Jean Chan’s nursery playroom set of books and toys unfolds to reveal a pop-up lighthouse, the village which Albienne battles Vikings to save, and the home where Carmen gives herself over to charity and eventually finds love. Although they don’t know it, each is moving back towards one another over the years, towards the home they left behind.
Ewan Somers plays the father and narrator with the world-weariness of a man handing over a world he isn’t sure he’s left much of a mark on. Betty Valencia, Kim Allan and Rehanna MacDonald are bright, energetic and full of hope as the sisters.
That they have all been styled similarly lends something of a sense of uniformity to the characters, but this makes sense in context; after all, each represents a path, a choice that an individual might make as they grow up.