Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 11–Sun 13 Apr
Clichéd though it sounds, kids often get more fun out of the box something comes in than the expensive product within. Imaginary play with cardboard tubes, dressing-up clothes and sticks is still as much fun as ever – if only children had time to do it.
Heelie-go-Leerie takes this most fundamental of activities and builds a storyline around it. Three children – Kaiser, Bella and Taz – lead hectic lives where there’s never enough time in the day for play. So, individually, they sneak off to the local dumping ground and indulge in some ‘me time’ with a disused washing machine and an old tyre.
When their lives finally collide, they embark on a series of wonderful imaginary adventures – flying to the moon in a tin bath, skating on ice and dressing up as witches. Meanwhile, their very existence is threatened by a hole in the ‘big roof’, which protects them from the smoky atmosphere above. An environmental sub-plot which highlights just how much pressure the younger generation is under to sort out our mess.
Energetic performances from all three cast members help drive this lively piece along. Minimal, but well-timed, audience participation allows the children to join in with rhymes or make like a chicken. And Virginia Radcliffe’s charming script reminds us all that in the absence of PlayStations, Wiis and TV, children will always find a way to entertain themselves, if we’d only let them.