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Dragon at Edinburgh International Festival

above: Dragon – Photo by © Drew Farrell

Review by Jo Tomalin

Dragon
Edinburgh International Festival 2015
Pictured: Scott Miller as Tommy
Vox Motus/National Theatre of Scotland/Tianjin People’s Arts Theatre
Photo credit: Drew Farrell
Fri 14 & Sat 15 Aug 7pm, Sat 15 Aug 2pm, Sun 16 Aug 12noon & 4pm
Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 473 2000
eif.co.uk/dragon

Outstanding  

Mesmerizing Dragon!

Visually stunning and beautifully performed by the ensemble of seven actors, Dragon explores themes of telling the truth and staying silent. Vox Motus, National Theatre of Scotland, and Tianjin People’s Art Theatre (China) present Dragon – a spectacular piece of theatre without words for adults, teenagers and children, marking the first co-production between the three companies.

Directors Jamie Harrison and Candice Edmunds, and Designer Jamie Harrison have developed an exceptionally creative production, which received a well-deserved ovation on opening night, August 14, at the Edinburgh International Festival 2015.

Dragon
Photo © Drew Farrell

After losing his mother the character Tommy experiences fear, grief and bullying. Trying to deal with everything unsuccessfully on his own, a friendly dragon becomes his guide to help him. The dragon is a shape shifter – arriving when least expected and looking slightly different each time.

The wonderful ensemble of seven actors (Martin McCormick, Joanne McGuinness, Scott Miller, Amanda Wright, Gavin Jon Wright, Kai Zhang and Yan Tao) play authentic and compelling characters, supported by outstanding physical acting skills – and they manipulate puppets and props with precision. Without any spoken words the actors use their physicality to emote subtly. This is very effective storytelling and what is so special is that the physical acting is very pure –with no mime, exaggeration or pretend speaking – these actors do not need words.

Design for every part of this production is excellent! Harrison’s gorgeous Set Design is like pages in a picture book…dark blue sky, silhouettes of houses, huge stuffed clouds that change from white to dark grey. Tables, beds and doorways glide on by the actors with some genius staging.

Lighting Design by Simon Wilkinson is dramatic and unifies the design of the play perfectly. Music composed by Tim Philips underscores throughout and has a filmic quality that moves the story forward and complements the action. Mark Melville’s Sound design includes clever sound effects matching the action. Puppets designed by Harrison and Guy Bishop are awesome, have remarkable movement and are built with a variety of textured materials. Don’t miss this show – it’s absolutely enchanting.

Tickets and More Information:

Performances: Fri 14 & Sat 15 Aug 7pm, Sat 15 Aug 2pm, Sun 16 Aug 12noon & 4pm
Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 473 2000
eif.co.uk/dragon


Jo Tomalin, Ph.D. reviews Dance, Theatre & Physical Theatre Performances
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About the Author

Jo TomalinOriginally from England Jo Tomalin is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is a reviewer for Dance & Theatre at www.ForAllEvents.com and works in the performing arts as a freelance movement specialist, director + actor. She is also a Professor in the Theatre Arts Department at San Francisco State University, teaching Movement for actors, Voice, Storytelling and Acting. Jo Tomalin studied Classical Ballet for 12 years. She graduated from London University's Laban Centre teaching credential program in Modern Dance, Art of Movement & Choreography, then she trained in Physical Theatre, Masks, and Devised theatre at the renowned professional acting school "Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq" Paris, France. She also studied Classical Acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London; and Voice and Acting at Trinity College of Dramatic Art, London.View all posts by Jo Tomalin →