Inkheart

Inkheart is the first Christmas show put on at Manchester’s HOME, based on a book of the same name by Cornelia Funke.  Whilst this is not specifically a Christmas show, it is definitely a children’s show – merging pantomime, improvisation, fantasy and drama.

Inkheart is a fantasy story about a girl whose father can read characters into life – that is, once he speaks a passage of a book out loud, the characters and objects in the passage are brought into reality. At its heart, Inkheart is a story about the importance of family and the lengths we will go to for them – the relationship between Meggie and her father is what really drives the story forward.  After Meggie’s father is captured by the evil Capricorn (Will Irvine), Meggie travels on a quest with her books and Aunt Elinor (Rachel Atkins) to find him, and to discover what happens in her own story. It’s a compelling adventure tale in the mould of classics like Tintin or Peter Pan, with great villains and inept sidekicks.

The standout performers in the show are Katherine Carlton as Meggie and Kelly Hotten as Resa/Narrator, who both produce stunning performances and were, for me, the heart of the show.  There is a wonderful flow and pace to the production, with skilled direction from Walter Meierjohann.  One of the best things about the production is the set – beautifully crafted out of a mountain of books, it is the perfect centrepiece for the show. It also incorporates some clever projection techniques for the backdrop and front curtain, convincingly creating the world of the play.

It is worth mentioning that all the children I could see seemed to absolutely love the performance.  There was laughter (in all the right places!), and at the end the children were the ones giving the loudest applause.  A show that appeals to everyone, theatre for young people with some very grown up ideas.

 

Photo by Graeme Cooper

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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