A Sheep Called Skye
- Steve Cramer
- 29 November 2007
Duns Volunteer Hall, Langtongate, Sat 1 Dec, then touring
If the question of identity plagues people throughout their adult life, it might seem a good idea to get a start on resolving the problem early on. This seems the central premise of SR Harris’ novel for children, A Sheep Called Skye, here adapted for stage by Nicola McCartney. At its sweet, guileless centre is the question of who ‘ewe’ are.
In it, we meet an, at first, nameless sheep (Ailie Cohen) on the Isle of Skye, living at a bed and breakfast with a benevolent owner (Jim Sturgeon), who employs her to serve breakfast to the tourists. But our heroine isn’t quite contented, and after a cavort around her native island where she meets the ram of her dreams, she’s whisked off on a UK-wide adventure, incorporating everything from pure radge Weedgie lambs, to posh all fleece and nae knickers sheep. Finally she absconds with an English stallholder, selling trinkets to the tourists, but Skye hankers for home . . .
There’s a sense of mouton dressed as jambon as the actors ham it up to pleasing effect with the children in the audience, while Cohen’s puppets are used to adventurous effect. If there’s the odd bit of national stereotyping in the foreign guests at the B&B, and a certain Anglophobia in the presentation of the sheepjack exploiter villain, one might let them pass for the quiet and charming whimsy that overspreads Andrew Panton’s production. Some good performances, too, all round, from Cara Kelly’s multiple roles in support to Cohen’s endearing lamb. Add these to Paul Christie’s charming music and some pleasing multi-tasking with puppets, and you’ve got a fulsome show.