News Column

Theatre goes aerial ; Heartlands hosts a touring spectacular

June 26, 2013


METTA Theatre takes over Heartlands' playground at Pool on Saturday and Sunday with Monkey & Crocodile, featuring aerial circus, acrobatics, live music, skateboards - and more than 100 fresh apples.

Based on a classic Indian fable of friendship, betrayal and cunning, this is a show for children and adults alike.

The show opens following the success of Metta's recent production Arab Nights (Soho Theatre) and previous family show, puppet opera The Elephant's Child (Arcola Theatre/Trafalgar Studios).

Audiences enter a playground forest to find friendly Monkey monkeying around on the bars with her new best friend Crocodile, zipping around on his skateboard. All is not what it seems however, and clever Monkey must keep her wits about her if she is to escape the clutches of Crocodile's mean mother.

The performances, which are free in most locations, are accompanied by circus workshops in juggling, clowning and acro- balance, and every audience member gets a free apple! The tour also includes shows for local schools.

Poppy Burton-Morgan said: Communities who don't necessarily access live performance will find Monkey & Crocodile right on their doorsteps and in their playgrounds. We hope the show - full of surprises and fun - will be a step on an exciting journey into the arts for newcomers and regular theatregoers alike, young and old, and everyone in between.

Metta Theatre makes beautiful, imaginative and compelling theatre, using all the storytelling tools at its disposal: words, music, video, movement, puppetry, opera, illustration, and circus.

The company creates theatre that wears its theatricality on its sleeve: meta-theatrical works that tell stories that include the audience in the act of telling.

Productions currently in development include an aerial dance theatre piece inspired by a mass poisoning in Bangladesh and a contemporary opera about Locked In Syndrome (Flicker) written in collaboration with the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability.

Recent productions include: Arab Nights (Soho Theatre and touring), Old Red's Cupboard (Bush Bazaar), Sexing The Cherry (Southbank Centre and Jackson's Lane), The Man With The Flower In His Mouth (cafe theatre tour), Waiting (Southbank Centre), Cocteau In The Underworld (Arcola), 12 Dancing Princesses (V&A), Otieno and Blood Wedding (Southwark Playhouse), and three Benjamin Britten Canticles (Arcola, Little Angel, Shunt Vaults). Supported by Arts Council England, PRSF, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Exeter Arts Council, FEAST for Cornwall and Circus Space Lab: Time Award.

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