The Sun, The Moon and a Boy Called River
Wee Stories Theatre isn’t afraid to tamper with a title. In recent years, the company has given us The Emperor’s New Kilt, Jock and the Beanstalk, and now they’ve taken an East European fairytale known as Old Man Almanac, and transformed it into The Sun, The Moon and a Boy Called River.
‘It wasn’t a very catchy title so we came up with a new one,’ explains Andy Cannon. ‘But the story itself is very well known – although it hasn’t made it across the Channel very much.’ Cannon and his Wee Stories compadre, Iain Johnstone, have adapted the tale to suit two actors and a harpist, but the fundamental core remains. Two babies, born at the same time are prophesised to marry. Only trouble is, one is the son of a poor woodcutter, the other a princess whose objectionable father takes a rather dim view of the proposed marriage.
‘One of the things which makes it a great story,’ says Cannon. ‘Is that the King is the author of his own end. Because of his greed and desire, he manages to construct his downfall – and the children see what’s about to happen to him and start to chuckle as he walks into his own trap, which is lovely.’
Once again, Wee Stories will be striving to appeal to everyone from school age upwards – and if their previous offerings are anything to go by, they’ll succeed. As Cannon says, the duo don’t set out to make children’s theatre, it just so happens that kids love what they do just as much as adults.
‘We call ourselves Scotland’s multi-generational theatre company,’ says Cannon. ‘And over the years, whatever we’ve done, we’ve been determined to enjoy it ourselves – and we want children to be in the audience enjoying it with us.’
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 23–Sat 26 Sep