Review: The Light Garden at the Tobacco Factory Theatre

By Deborah Smith

Thursday 07 July 2011
Tobacco Factory Theatre
Bristol

The Light Garden is an interactive light and video installation created by award winning artist Rachel Davis. Playing at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, it kicks off a week crammed with the theatrical delights of World Stage Festival.

The Light Garden is aimed at a younger audience, recommend for children of around 18 months to 4 years. It was absolutely perfect for children of this age.

The adventure begins with the children being armed with touches in the near darkness of the studio. We were then introduced to our flight – footed guide, who through facial expressions, mime and a completely made-up language led the children to explore the stage.

Set up as a magical camp site we could enter magical caves, create light drawings in our tent with torches, and climb a beanbag hill where projected ladybirds could be chased by children.

Two switches on the stage floor controlled the weather. Misty skies could be switched to thunderous rain or simple bird song. Carefully placed lights turned even the smallest of toddlers into giants.

The whole twenty minutes was wonderful. It was completely refreshing to have children of such a young age being able to explore and allowed to be children – not having to try and restrain them in their seats

Megan – five years – loved changing the weather conditions above our magical camp.  She especially enjoyed the thunder noises which rumbled around the studio theatre.

Our one-year-old, like some of the other children, was slightly more cautious. But, after 20 minutes he was trying to wake up the guide who was having a well deserved sleep on the bean bag hill.

This was a completely new experience for all the children and most of the adults. However, this is what the Tobacco Factory does best. It brings engaging theatre to audiences that want to experience something truly new and fun.

This was perfect for young children and if this one event is to go by its going to be a very exciting and brilliant Festival

www.tobaccofactorytheatre.com