As favourites from the Edinburgh Fringe go, Tall Stories’ Wilde Creatures would have to be one of my mine. I will never tire of musical instruments and song being interwoven into some great stories. Wilde Creatures builds on this as it is a story made of many parts, which is great for keeping attention. Wilde Creatures is perfectly pitched for its target audience of 5 – 12 year olds.
It’s no wonder Tall Stories is celebrating its 21st birthday in Edinburgh, in the comparatively short time I’ve been a parent, Tall Stories has not failed to keep my children engaged. And I’m pleased, for my own sanity, that Wilde Creatures was no exception for my 9 year-old.
Wilde Creatures begins with a fairy tale akin to Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Happy Prince’ with an argument between the Mayor and townspeople on the creation of a statue. The story unfolds which each of the townspeople positioning for whom the statue should be created. Inspired by the stories of ‘The Devoted Friend’, ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ and ‘The Birthday of The Infanta’.
Each of the storytellers takes the opportunity to present this case from whom the statue should commemorate. The stories of the miller, the student and the princess are shared. Until it becomes evident, of those who some would place on a pedestal, others will fall short of their respect. If someone is not kind to all, are they kind at all? Tall Stories successfully allow the audience to question what qualities are those which are important? What qualities create respect?
The four actor-musicians are wonderful in drawing in its audience. From the initial music and lyrics, to compelling characters. In each story so its creation builds, the set design unfolds time upon time, and in doing so creating the magic of its conclusion.
In transpires few are individually respected by all. But the ability to create something for the benefit of all is a far better tale to be told.
Matt Jopling, Tom Jude, Steve McCourt and Lauren Silver create compelling characters. In their primary role as Mayor and townspeople alongside the roles in each of Oscar Wilde’s inspired tales, they create the darkness and light needed to carry this production. Barney George’s design is a success in allowing each of the stories to unfold alongside the mood created in Peter Harrison’s lighting design. The happiness created through the floral conclusion rippling into the audience.
Wilde Creatures is at the Pleasance Courtyard as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You can catch the production at 14.50 until Sunday 26th August 2018.
Disclosure: We have media accreditation for the Fringe Festival. All views and opinions contained are our own.