The Story of Mr B 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 13, Aug 2016
The Story of Mr B
This is an enchanting, beautifully crafted piece of theatre by people who understand children and know how to engage them completely in the world that has been created.
The story of Mr B is contained within a huge, velvet covered book in the middle of the stage. The book is opened and the pages within become the backdtop to the story. We begin by finding Mr B, a dumpy, grumpy old puppet all by himself in the middle of a forest counting trees. How did he come to be like this? To find out we go back to the start of the story where he’s happy and friendly, working in the bar on a local train. One day he falls in love with one of the passengers,the beautiful singer Lucy, but after an all too brief romance she is killed in a thunderstorm by a falling tree. Mr B, sad and angry retreats from the world and, at the point we first saw him, is bitter, angry and alone. Things get worse for Mr B as the trees and the sun leave when they are shunned by him and he ends up in a barren winter land. At this point he realises that this is not what he wants and he starts to make things better – brnging back flowers and then trees and making friends with the sun. We all blow him a kiss and wish him well on his way.
The story, and the big issues it contains of love, tragedy and regret, is told with humour and charm by the two skilled puppeteers who invest the puppets with real character and life. The book in which the story is set is exquisite. At one point it opens up and is transformed into an alpine sceme where a tiny train comes over the hills and then a full (puppet) size one, complete with a tin can engine and real smoke comes through the tunnel that has opened out from the page. At another point doors are open and we see a beautifully rendered shadow play of the romance. The elements of the story telling are cleverly combined and the audience was utterly rapt for the whole 40 minutes.
Both children and the adults lucky enough to accompany them will be enchanted. Do try to see this.
Institut Francais daily 11.15 and 2.30