The Lost Lending Library

Mia Jerome
Punchdrunk Enrichment
Church Hill Theatre

The Lost Lending Library

Punchdrunk’s Enrichment theatre brings a charming piece of immersive theatre to Edinburgh’s International Festival especially for primary school children age 6 to 11.

The small group of excited children and adults wait in the foyer and are greeted by Penny, an apprentice learning how to become a guardian. She is going to be our tour guide. We are told that the library is huge; it has 314 floors of books and many sections.

But first, we are taken to a secret corner of the Church Hill Theatre where she gets to know the kids, putting the youngsters at ease.

She asks the children to help her create a story, and they suggest an adventure in a hot rain forest. They choose objects from an intriguing range on a trolley including a snow globe with a polar bear inside and a snake. This will be some story, and perhaps the Library will include theirs as part of the collection.

The curtain to the entrance is opened but there is no door, the Library has been lost. So we set off on a quest to find it. There are clues in a riddle to solve. As we pass down the corridor, there are so many small installations to view. I only wish we had more time to explore them.

Eventually, we enter a mysterious room where we meet Mr Peabody, the guardian of the miscellaneous section. Oriental carpets cover the floor and there are stacks of books that the children can sit on.

It’s a magic room filled with hanging aeroplanes, air balloons and so much to see. But we are here to make a story, and all too soon we have to leave clutching our newly rewarded apprentice membership cards.

Written and directed by Mia Jerome with actors Simon Maeder, Hayley Muirehead and Delvene Pitt, this is simply delightful.

Reviewer: Robin Strapp

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