Children’s show review: Superhero Snail Boy
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Superhero Snail Boy at Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49), reviewed by Kelly Apter
The loss of a parent or sibling is difficult at any age, but when you’re too young to find words to express your emotions, it can be even harder. This imaginative show from Vertical Line Theatre attempts to capture bereavement through the eyes of a child, and very nearly pulls it off.
The characters are strong – a girl, trying to engage her grieving father while dealing with her own pain at the loss of her mother, and a boy who feels responsible for the tragic accident that killed his brother. Slowly they find each other, and a way to deal with their new family dynamic.
The set, too, is inspired. Made predominately from white cardboard with black illustrations, it’s like living in a cartoon world. The direction is fast-paced and slick, with particularly effective scene changes, when somebody hits the fast-forward button.
But with such a heavy subject matter, you really need more humour in the script – not only to balance it out, but to heighten the sad moments when they arrive. The giant snail, with his penchant for James Brown, provides some light relief – but his role, as a living metaphor for time dragging, will be lost on most children.
Until 24 August. Today 10:30am
More info: Superhero Snail Boy is at Bedlam Theatre
Originally published in The Scotsman