Barrowland Ballet to debut two versions of same show for kids and adults

Barrowland Ballet to debut two versions of same show for kids and adults

Photo: Brian Hartley

Tiger and Tiger Tale incorporate similar elements for two very different audiences

Natasha Gilmore was reading to her two young children when the idea came to her. Why not create two dance works with the same subject matter and similar title, but perform them to completely different audiences? ‘I’m really interested in how children view the world,’ says Gilmore, artistic director of Glasgow-based Barrowland Ballet. ‘I thought of myself as relatively open-minded, but in comparison to my children, who are still so non-judgemental, I realise I’m not. While reading to them, I began to reflect on how my adult eyes perceived things differently, and that prompted me to make the two pieces.’

Tiger (for adults) and Tiger Tale (for children) take the same starting point – family life – but explore different aspects to a greater or lesser degree. ‘Risk was the inherent driving force behind both pieces,’ explains Gilmore. ‘As adults we can become stuck in routine, and then change becomes frightening, even though we may not feel fulfilled in our situations. The family in our story is stifled by the rigidity of their lives – they’ve trapped themselves without planning to.’

At many venues on Barrowland Ballet’s Scottish tour, Tiger Tale will be performed in the afternoon, Tiger in the evening: an interesting proposition for both the performers and audience. ‘In terms of material, there is a lot that’s the same,’ says Gilmore. ‘But what is totally different is the way it’s read by those watching it. Performing both pieces in the same day to two different audiences is really bizarre because the atmosphere is so different.’

Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Fri 20 Sep, then touring.

A Tiger's Tale

A play about a troubled family whose life is changed when a tiger visits. Suitable for ages 7–14.