Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast Austin Hewitt, Lucy Fiori.
To hold the attention of anyone, let alone that of a young eager mind, the story has to be entertaining, it has to have the thrill of the imagination weaved through it, delicate threads pulling together to make one large pattern, a stitch here and there creating the picture in which the story unfolds, unfurls with a flourish and which when seen with the benefit of distance is still just as valued as the moments when you are so close to the action that you cannot but smile and be drawn in by those creating the drama and the story.
It is to hold a child’s attention in which the thrill of theatre is first installed, if you can bring a the largest of smiles and have them willing to ask their parents for more at the end of a show, then the story-tellers have created a bond which will never be severed and in When Another Dragon Roars, that bond for the audience was one of creative fulfilment, a thread joined and the picture one of spectacle and delight.
In Austin Hewitt and Lucy Fiori, Liverpool has two natural story-magicians, two performers who have conjured up the passion of theatre but who have delved into that difficult and sometimes unforgiving arena of children’s theatre. It takes a purity of soul, a sense of knowing that children being in the theatre is just as important to the survival of the medium as bringing together the like minded who have had many years under their belt of bathing in the spotlight’s reflection. The children are the toughest critics, they are unafraid to be vocal in their praise, they will soon let you know if they don’t like what has taken place before them.
For the two performers, the hour on stage, magnificently penned stories and well presented song and audience involvement, meant that they were assured a reception that could be heard over the roar of any dragon, playful, wonderfully mischievous and full of life; for the parents and guardians in the audience of the Unity Theatre, the play was a half term holiday delight, for the children, for those sternest of critics, When Another Dragon Roars was the most enjoyable of times they could have hoped for.
Once again Lucy Fiori and Austin Hewitt have come up with magic on stage, a set of stories weaved together that when stood back and seen with a heart of appreciation, was to be seen as a touching and wonderfully light-hearted tapestry of theatre.
Ian D. Hall