You think of Snow White and you think of Walt Disney and the animated girl in the yellow and blue dress who is poisoned by the wicked queen by an apple. In Filskit Theatre’s Snow White this image of lovable girl who falls victim to the evil witch is completely turned on its head and refreshed for the young child in all of us. Most of the elements of the original tale are still present, there is Snow White, there is an evil witch with the poisoned apple, but Filskit Theatre has injected its own tom-foolery and video work to make this modern update burst with creativity.
Filskit Theatre is a young company comprised of three talented ladies who graduated from Rose Bruford in 2009. Since then its work has been centered around the use of projection in performance, exploring ways that a hand-held projector can be incorporated into devised storytelling. Snow White sees the company exploring a new direction, focusing work more towards a children’s audience, and this is exactly the exciting fresh work that needs to be encouraged more. The heart of Snow White is still very much the act of storytelling, but as the narrators foolishly charms the children with some brilliant slapstick moments, the real delights come in the projected videos and images that incorporate an other-worldly feel to the piece.
The wicked witch who instructs the two narrators to kill Snow White is not seen apart from some villainous hands and words that appear in videos. The instructions being written down and then spoken by the narrators encourages a slight educational feel to the show, the children associating words with the images being projected. There are also some wonderful projections that soar and float around the stage, with words and images breathing lives into the performance. It’s great to see a company exploring the possibilities of technology with a younger audience, something which I think a lot of children’s theatre work fails to do.
If you’re worried about Snow White being too set-in-its ways as a story, then Filskit Theatre will surprise you. Snow White is brilliantly performed by Sarah Gee, whose silent gestures and disgusting habits (she seems to like to eat everything from paper to boogies – ew!) breaks the ‘stereotype often portrayed. The use of two narrators, excellently portrayed by Victoria Dyson and Katy Costigan, brings a new excitement and certain stupidity to the story that certainly had the children in the audience laughing and wanting more.
Aside from a few pace issues, Filskit Theatre presents a loveable adaptation of this well-known children’s tale and really brings a dash of creativity to it. It’s inventive and imaginative, ultising projection to engage children and adults alike. It might be at the start of its theatre-making journey, but Filskit Theatre certainly promises to become an innovative children’s theatre maker.
Snow White is playing at the Shaw Theatre during The Camden Fringe. For more information on Filskit Theatre see its website here. You can also follow its adventures in the bi-monthly blog on AYT here.