Macrobert, Stirling, Thu 18–Sat 20 Oct
Aimed at children aged 7+ and their families, Mischief is a busy mix of dance, puppetry, visual art, clowning, music and song. Oh, and foam – lots and lots of foam. Award-winning children’s theatre company, Theatre-Rites, has joined forces with choreographer, Arthur Pita to create a fun new work in which colourful foam is transformed into everything from a forest to a friend.
But while London-based Theatre-Rites has over ten years’ experience in creating work for children and young people, this is Pita’s first step outside the adult domain. How did he find the experience? ‘I think the process of creating dance for children is just as complex, just as rich and even more demanding than it is for adults,’ he says. ‘Because you know adults can easily sit back and accept something. But with children you simply cannot fake it, they have to understand everything and you have to interact with them.’
Before forming his own dance company, Pita spent many years performing principal roles with choreographer Matthew Bourne. Did Bourne’s accessible style and masterful storytelling inspire Pita to do the same? ‘I learned a lot from performing in Matthew’s works,’ he says. ‘You develop a natural instinct as to what an audience wants and needs, you can’t be self-indulgent.’
Despite Mischief being tailor-made for young audiences, feedback suggests that the show’s playful quality brings out the child in everyone. ‘A lot of the adults who have seen the show say they felt like children while they were watching it,’ says Pita. ‘And that’s a great thing, I’m all for that.’