Review: We Cover the Universe, Akin
4.0Overall Score

Vibrant and colourful,  We Cover the Universe, from Akin, is a piece of theatre that feels like it comes straight out of a child’s imagination. Dot (Rachel Lincoln) teaches children how to transform the space around them and find colours, shapes and creativity wherever they look – all via Zoom!

We Cover the Universe, presented in association with the Barbican, is a playful show, written by Anna Beecher, for children under the age of five that inspires and invites them to create. Remmie Milner and Lincoln guide us through different worlds and colours, which we get to explore and enjoy over the course of half an hour. As an interactive show, the audience is encouraged to follow the performers’ example and draw, paint, and create intriguing images from their own imagination.

Equipped with a sheet of paper and a colander, we meet the protagonist Dot. In prose, Milner narrates the show and takes the children and their families through Dot’s colourful world. Today, Dot is feeling grey, and she is looking for ways to colour her world. She takes to painting, creating, and imagining, and we’re invited to join her on her journey. We start with a dot, the dot turns into a line, the line turns into a painting and the painting becomes a door into a world full of colours and creativity. 

Groovy, upbeat songs about oranges and dots accompany us as we go on an adventure through the colour palette. We explore green worlds, blue worlds, orange worlds and everything that is red and yellow or any other colour for that matter!

Akin have created a show that is both stimulating for children and compelling for parents alike, as it invites us to look at the world around us in a different way. Artsy makeshift stages and quirky little paper characters support the story, which means that it’s great fun for children of any age. Every so often they even get to be part of the show by naming colours and objects that make their appearances – and what an exciting moment that is. 

This play inspires us to explore the spaces around us and engage – there is always something to discover and a way to broaden our horizon. It’s an important thing to realise that we can teach our children to free their imagination and activate their fantasy world.  In We Cover the Universe, there is a lot to be grateful for – ups, downs, colour, black and white, and even the fact that we have the starry sky at our fingertips (or at least a colander and a flashlight).

We Cover the Universe, played online from the Barbican until 17th December 2020. For more information see The Barbican website or the Akin Theatre website.

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