946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

At 21 I had my first experience at the Globe theatre.  I really didn’t expect it to feel as magical as it did.  I do not usually express emotion but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t help but have a beaming smile as I took in the spectacle that surrounded me.

Being one of the first to enter I thought it would be great to be front and centre.  Maybe if I wasn’t 5’9″ it would have been but the beanstalk that I am was surrounded by people that couldn’t help but making me look like a giant.  Not only did I feel vulnerable and anxious, sticking out like a sore thumb, but also sorry for those standing behind me.  So I decided to reposition.  Which was actually a good move.  I went right to the back of the standing area in front of a pillar which was great as I wasn’t blocking anyone’s view so could stand on my tiptoes if there was any floor action, which was the only thing that my position stopped me from seeing easily.

I had a double whammy of firsts as it was also the first time that I had seen ‘Kneehigh’ theatre company.  I was truly blown away.  The use of puppets, the clever character changes and the use of music and simple props was magnificent.

The play was an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips’ which follows a girl who loses her cat, set in a village in Devon,  disrupted by visiting American troops during the second world war.

This was probably the first piece of theatre I had seen which was obvious theatre (as in the audience was very aware of the fact that actors were using what they could to tell the story) that I had seen and thought was any good.  It’s not saying much as I haven’t seen much, but I thought I didn’t enjoy this kind of theatre-oh was I wrong.

My favourite part was when the actors used string and cups to illustrate the miscommunication between British and American forces.  This simple tool was perfect.  The whole production was the actors truly playing with the story and finding creative ways to tell it.

As well as being a thoroughly good piece of entertainment it was also great to learn about an event in history which I hadn’t before heard about-Operation Tiger, where 946 US troops were killed.

‘Kneehigh’ had the perfect mix of lighthearted childishness, playing with serious subject matter such as race and culture, as well as tackling the tragedy of the play in a touching manner.  Which on the day I watched was truly magical as the only time it rained was when it was meant to be raining on stage.

I truly recommend anyone to go and see this play if they get a chance.

Until next time,

Laura Joan xx

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