The Magician's Daughter
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This spin-off from the RSC/Little Angel puppet ‘Tempest’ doesn’t exactly raise the roof, but it’s gentle, slight and artful enough to blow away three to six year olds and their helicopter parents.
‘The Magician’s Daughter’, by ex-Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, stars Prospero’s granddaughter, Isabella, who flies to the magic Isle where her mother once lived with Caliban and Ariel.
Lizzie Wort and Clare Rebekah Pointing play mother and daughter with charm, skill and musical delight (Shakespeare’s description of the Isle as ‘full of noises’ is enacted with bells on). They’re also the puppeteers behind a cuddly green Caliban and a waspish Ariel.
These two provide the moral into the bargain, as they don’t know how to share the truffles Caliban snouts out from the earth with the ‘fruity fruits’ from Ariel’s roost, a hauntingly lit twisted tree.
Director Peter Glanville wisely keeps it short and sweet – anything more than 45 minutes is a mistake for this tender age group. But Islington’s lovely little puppet theatre sets a high bar for children’s entertainment and, although you’re unlikely to be disappointed by this enchanting show, it lacks the zany flair and sharp aesthetic of the Little Angel’s very best work.