My Friend Peter
From 05 August 2015 to 31 August 2015
Review by Amy Yorston
Childlike but not childish, My Friend Peter is a beautiful example of ensemble storytelling incorporating live music and song.
Loosely following the early life of Beatrix Potter, the audience is treated to glimpses from scenes in her life and also the charming tales which made her so famous.
The small cast (in an incredibly tight performance space) multi-role seamlessly switching from members of the Potter family and publishing agents through to cheeky rabbits and naughty kittens.
Told simply but with style, the music gives the piece energy, but also pathos, and although performed with plenty of upbeat humour the few moments of melancholy are unexpected and moving.
The rustic atmosphere is aided by the use of small wooden crates (which double as everything) and the fact that the entire show takes place in a corregated shed with props hanging from the walls.
The whole cast throw themselves into the piece with commitment and enthusiasm creating an engaging snapshot of Potter's life. Her world, both imaginary and real, is presented in a vibrant and fun way (with the washing line of hand-drawn characters a lovely touch) suitable for children but certainly not aimed at them.
With beautiful harmonies and a convincing central portrayal, this is a show for both those who love stories and those who love finding out about storytellers.