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Ad: Swallows & Amazons York Theatre Royal

These tickets were kindly gifted to us by Artspod. Artspod is a great place to keep up to date with all the UK arts. Check out the website Artspod.

Swallows & Amazons is on at the York Theatre Royal from now until the 24th August.

I don’t know how it is possible but I had never heard of Swallows and Amazons before we were offered these tickets. I went in with absolutely no knowledge of the film, book or any previous productions.

Before we made it to our seats we were greeted by a warm up performance in the bar area. The music coupled with the clear effort that the theatre had gone to to dress the theatre all added to the excitement. Bunting, ships wheels and there was even a wooden play boat in the outside area.

The story for those like me that don’t know is four children who plead with their mother to go camping on the lake. As is often the case the children crave freedom and independence. They soon discover that they are not alone on the island and John, Susan, Titty and Roger Walker battle to see who can claim the island. Them, the Swallows, or the Amazons.

Having just returned from a camping trip in Dorset where we spent days in the water, the story felt perfect. Childhood adventure mixed with a little mischief. The set and costumes were reminiscent of childhood adventures. I particularly enjoyed Roger – shipboys – childhood innocence. It was played wonderfully. All of the children were played by adults and they all did a marvellous job.

The songs and music was composed by Neil Hannon, Devine Comedy. There was a powerful use of instruments throughout. The music added to the performance and was blended perfectly. The casts ability to include the instruments was spellbinding to watch.

The use of space in the theatre was phenomenal. The stage and beyond was used throughout which captivated my ten year old and me! These times when the actors came off of the stage often unexpectedly were our favourite parts.

We loved the Amazon sisters, Nancy and Peggy. They were strong and determined northern sisters not afraid to fight for what they believe in.

The performance lasted two and a half hours which was longer than I had expected for a child audience. The first half was slower in pace than the second. We defiantly preferred the second half. Overall it was a beautifully played drama that left me longing for days of adventure, childhood spent away from screens and memories made outdoors.

Thank you again to Artspod for the invite.

We give this a definite five stars.

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