It’s often the smallest of moments or gestures that can really inspire even the youngest of audience members, and in Peut-être Theatre’s Draw Me A Bird, a performer acting as a bird is completely mesmerising for adults and children alike. Inspired by Jacques Prevert’s poem ‘To paint the portrait of a bird’, Draw Me A Bird is an introduction into the French styled dance theatre that Daphna Attias shapes in her direction of Peut-être Theatre with four physically trained performers. Up on a high roof, with a gigantic pillow-shaped cloud drifting by, a lone girl sings and a trio of birds flutter around for her attention.
As a performance piece it is remarkably simple. The birds stop to play with the girl on the roof before flying off, but in a storm one of the birds is left behind. The girl, on finding the birds gone, is sad and lonely, as is the bird that is left behind. Their uniting helps to pass the time, until finally on a summers day the birds are reunited again. It is a charming and loveable production that offers a great introduction not only to the joys of theatre but also to dance.
What makes Draw Me A Bird so compelling is its commitment to both the style and performance for the children. The grace of the performers as they dance about the stage makes for some beautifully portrayed birds. Even the children in the audience get to marvel up close at the bird-like mannerisms of the performers as they are invited to feed them bread. Amy Jackson’s design brings about a dream-like quality in thrall to the French music and song. Yet it’s not just beautiful movement and quirky bird-like voices, there are some karate fighting birds, and a screeching cat on the attack which make for some comedic moments too.
It’s difficult not to fall in love with Peut-être Theatre’s Draw Me A Bird, which wraps you up comfortably and takes you on a flight above the rooftops of Paris and beyond. The performers are excellent at engaging the young audience, and as the girl sings about “The song of the birds from the sea”, she plays her accordion and they dance to produce a beautifully engaging and charming production for children.
Like I said, it’s often the smallest of moments that can lend a way in inspiring young audiences, and Peut-être Theatre’s Draw Me A Bird does so beautifully. It is rich in form, alluring in style and completely charming – I dare you not to fall in love and fly away with them.
Draw Me A Bird is now on tour. For more information and for a chance to win bird-like prizes visit the website at www.drawmeabird.co.uk. Read the feature on Peut-être Theatre on A Younger Theatre here.