17-19 September 2015
Reviewed by Linzi Davies
Yesterday myself and my 9 year old daughter attended Our Teacher’s a Troll at The Lowry in Manchester, it was especially interesting for us as my twin sons have just started a reception class and are no doubt tormenting their poor teacher. The show was outside the main theatre in a unique pop up tent, called Roundabout, which was a lovely change. I was expecting it to be cold and uncomfortable but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The circular seating area gave everybody an excellent vantage point with its tiered padded seating and I was surprised that the venue held roughly 170 people.
The plug and play theatre literally is just that, it flat packs into a lorry and can be utilised anywhere that has a power supply (and enough space). It is very easy to put up using just an Allen key and no piece takes more than two people to assemble. A state of the art idea bringing theatre to areas that previously could not access shows and performances.
Onto the show, before the start one of the actors was talking to some of the children in the audience about their expectations and asking the adults if they were scared of trolls!! There was no scenery to the show, just a male and female actor and a microphone. The lighting system was a large circular led based disc which hung from the ceiling and created the aura of the troll cleverly using green, blue and white lighting to express the Troll’s differing moods. The actors burst into the dialogue which started with Mrs Spike being tormented by newly started twins Holly and Shaun and the dreaded continuing question of Why, Why and Why. Her demise was fast and the introduction of the new Headteacher struck fear into all the children. Mr Raaraaaraaaraaaraaagh (I think that’s how it’s spelt) immediately outlawed any type of naughtiness from children and teachers alike and demanded that the playground be ripped down and a gold mine built for the children to work in. Hollie and Shaun couldn’t help but be a ‘little’ bit naughty by putting worms in sandwiches, mud in shoes and slugs in one little girls hair. Their outrageous behaviour meant that a number of children and one poor teacher were swept into the Troll’s mouth by his purple tongue and chomped into pieces!! The show ultimately needed a hero and a heroine and you’ve guessed it Shaun and Holly did the school proud. Shaun managed to teach himself Troll in one evening, ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK, and got the Troll to see things from their perspective resulting in a happy ending for all (except the people who’d been eaten obviously).
Although the whole show was only a script between two actors, they managed with the clever use of accents and movement to sweep you into actually visualising the characters and what was happening. They engaged the audience into joining in with foot stamping, cheering and clapping and lots of giggling was heard especially from the large group of school children who had come along to enjoy the fun.
Both myself and my daughter really enjoyed the show and would recommend it, especially for junior aged children.
Tickets cost from £5.50 to £8.50
Our Teacher’s a Troll is at The Lowry in Manchester until 19 September 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000