Sparkle – Review

Sparkle at Summerhall

Everyday should start with Sparkle. The joy brought through Annie Cusick Wood’s collaboration with Hawaii’s Honolulu Theate for Youth in a celebration of diversity is a great start to the day.

Sparkle, performed by Nathaniel Niemi, loves to dress in tutus and sparkly dresses. He has a magpie’s eye for all the glitters. Happy in his own self it is his introduction to school which introduces him to a reality that not everyone takes joy in his sparkle. Played alongside Christina Uyeno’s Kokua, Sparkle is worn down by the peer pressure experienced in a school setting. There is a fantastic bond created with the young audience by both performers. The engagement created throughout the 40 minute production instils the feeling of happiness.

The production presents this timely story with joy and poignancy. Whilst there is an appreciation of the sadness experienced, it is his acceptance that anything- anyone- can be transformed which creates the heartwarming finale.

With a beautiful and simple design, Sparkle happens. Karen Tennent’s design allows for some fun with shadow puppet theatre and the transformation into the beauty of a butterfly. The production creates happiness on a number of levels.

This is a joyful storytelling for adults and children alike. With Sparkle discovering the joy of standing up for himself and celebrating being unique, there is something for everyone in this production.

Sparkle is at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production at 21.15 until Sunday 25th August (excl. 12th and 19th).

Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through the Network of Independent Critics. All views and opinions contained are my own.

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