My Little Eye poetry-theatre company presents Ghosts From Childhood at the Norwich Arts Centre. After the recent announcement that Norwich has become England’s first Unesco city of literature, the company’s showcase of literary talent not only does this title justice but also expands literature through its eclectic use of multimedia.
The material was faultless, yet the set did not do the performance justice. The sheets that acted as curtains restricted the view of the projector, preventing the audience from reading the poetry on display, and causing an unfortunate distraction from the talented work. Although the use of shadows created by the sheets provided a subtle and delicate dramatisation of the poetry, which seemed to reflect the theme of lost childhood and memory, the constant rearranging of the sheets looked untidy and awkward.
The clear talent of the poets, actors, musicians and artists, however, excuses these shortcomings. Theo Best and Tamsin Flower were particularly noteworthy in their strength and enthusiasm in portraying the innocence of children, while the prize-winning poet George Szirtes was successful in absorbing the audience with his engaging readings.
The use of video was incorporated into the performance and the actors’ interaction with the video link was very effective. There was a good use of props that were scattered around the room, allowing the actors to run into the audience. This again added to the uniqueness of the performance. Although their task was slight, the musicians provided a beautiful accompaniment to the poetry; the percussion was especially enjoyable. My Little Eye creatively dramatized poetry and lyrical theatre, and offered the audience a unique collaboration of mediums.
My Little Eye poetry-theatre company will give this performance at Coast Festival on 31 October. They also intend to take their work to literary festivals and venues next year. For more information about the company and its members visit www.mylittleeye.org.uk