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You get to wear your own tail for the duration of this kids’ show from restlessly creative theatre company Fevered Sleep. Not some ratty old tail, neither: these are big, plush, buckle-on affairs (there’s a super-size version for adults) that look like they might belong to a kangaroo or a giant exceptionally well-groomed fox. I played with my tail; I loved my tail; I miss my tail.
The slight problem with ‘Dusk’ is that its energetic early sections – in which Nick Lawson’s cutesy, faun-like host (he has a tail, horns and skips about a lot) dishes out the furry appendages, paints our faces and leads us into his geometric den – set up a livelier show than we actually get.
The bulk of ‘Dusk’ is in fact a gorgeously shot film, played to us on a big screen once we have tailed up and sat down. The piece sees Nasi Voutas’s It – another faun-ish creature – traverse a series of beautiful, slightly unreal British landscapes: sunlit summer forests, great heathery moorlands, vivid beaches, all bursting with friendly animals, mystical red doors and glowing, pulsing orbs which lead It inexorably home to us. Will Duke’s cinematography is utterly ravishing and it’s a lovely piece, a beautiful salute to the landscapes that inform so much of Fevered Sleep’s work and a gentle tribute to the joys of adventure, exploration, friendship and togetherness.
It’s great, but the early sections gee the audience up for a more eventful, activity-based show than they actually get, and you could feel the kids’ attentions fraying as the film wears on. Still, life’s never boring when you have a tail to play with and it’s a wrench to leave ‘Dusk’s twinkling world.