Green Whale (4 stars)

Green Whale

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Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sun 24 Dec

The pitch Three Edinburgh children stow away on the ‘Big Betty’ whaling ship, hoping to raise money for their poor family. Onboard they meet Nin the merciless hunter, Crill the eccentric captain, Isabella the former Queen of Spain and a mysterious girl ‘from the sea’. Together they set sail in search of the infamous Green Whale, a creature so large it can swallow their ship whole, but so gentle it can rescue and raise a human baby. But when they finally find it, killing the whale isn’t as easy as it once seemed . . .

The verdict Licketyspit is known for its engaging blend of storytelling, innovative staging and live music. And Green Whale hits the spot just as Molly Whuppie, Magic Spaghetti et al did before it. Four actors switch characters with ease and clarity, ensuring nobody is lost along the way. The young audience is invited to ‘join’ the ship’s crew and salute the captain, clap along with songs and keep an eye out for the eponymous mammal. While the ‘Big Betty’ itself is a sight to behold, especially when it transforms into the whale.

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