Albee Vector the Sound Collector
  • By Rik Baker
  • |
  • 31st Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Amid the gloriously eccentric trappings of the Treasure Island themed Italian restaurant Hispaniola (a former haunt of Robert Louis Stevenson’s), Greenlight Theatre have achieved something rare and wonderful - a truly magical children's show. Kate Cavendish and Sam Woolf not only manage the impressive feat of keeping an audience comprised largely of screaming toddlers engaged for a full hour, but the pair perform their aural odyssey with a panache that makes this a show destined to inspire adults and children alike.

The play's master-stroke is its use of audience interaction: wind, werewolves and raspberries are recorded live from the audience

The play follows the escapades of Albee and his sound machine Mustard as they travel to the edge of the earth in search of the the most beautiful sound in the world, which will ransom Albee's sweetheart Andromeda from the capricious clutches of the evil king. Drawing on Greek myth and Homer's Odyssey, in particular the stories of the Cyclops, the Sirens, and of Andromeda herself, Albee Vector weaves its way through a magical world in which sounds can be collected in jars and used to get out of sticky situations.

Cavendish and Woolf chop and change characters in a heartbeat, working their way through a plethora of chipper crew members and dastardly ogres and manservants, even taking on the other's character to free up the other actor for yet more parts. Cavendish also accompanies much of the piece on harp, Andromeda's music infusing the plot not only with additional sound effects, but also underscoring the play's moral, which is that the most beautiful sound in the world is necessarily subjective. Woolf's Albee is a bonhomous Perseus, galavanting and swashbuckling his way across the high seas with a sound-hoovering machine instead of a steed.

But the play's master-stroke is its use of audience interaction: wind, werewolves and raspberries are recorded live from the audience and then played back as if Mustard were hoovering them up and they were erupting from the jars in which Albee had stored them. A masterful demonstration of the power of storytelling, Albee Vector is everything that childrens' theatre should be - vivid, imaginative, and downright funny.

Reviews by Rik Baker

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The Blurb

An interactive and enchanting family show bursting with all sorts of noises! Albee’s sound collection is running out. He’s already used up his last bits of thunder-crash, sword-clang and horse’s clip-clop. But the King must have his story and Albee needs his sounds to tell it. Join the hapless storyteller as he prepares to recount the last tale he’s got – his own. Using cornflakes, coconuts and popping candy, help him to make all the sounds he needs for his epic yarn of love, adventure and a noise-hoover called Mustard. #soundcollector

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