Bambi in Hulme

Hulme Community Garden Centre on a damp Saturday afternoon.  It’s a beautiful place tucked amongst the housing of Hulme, an oasis of calm and green.  The small group assembles.  Tom Marshman enters and starts to talk about the Disney film Bambi.  We share our thoughts.

Hazy nostalgia has brought Tom to think about Bambi and the twists and turns in his own life. Stumbling along a forest path, he leads audiences in an intimate skip through the trees; where seasons bring new adventures and glimpses of the past make you fuzzy inside (production website).

This is a production that carefully brings together three elements – the film Bambi, Tom’s own personal experience, and the natural environment.  The route is well chosen to lead us deeper into the trees.  We skip.  The monologue is strong and creates a deep emotional journey.  The parallels between the film and Tom’s life are cleverly drawn.  As Tom becomes Bambi, with impressive costume and effects, we share his experience.  The story builds to its climax in an enclosed, shaded circular area.  My only criticism, when it finished, I still wanted more.

Two hours after the end I find myself still smiling.  There is a trick to doing good site specific theatre, and Word of Warning and Tom Marshman really do pull it off here.  Incidentally Word of Warning also brought us This is How We Die recently at Contact, so well worth following for more interesting theatre.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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