Gomito Productions use plastic bags, rubbish, and some beautifully crafted puppets to create a magical world at the Hill Street Theatre. The Night Keeper is the story of Maggie, a little girl who is forced to visit the museum on her birthday. When her sister disappears into a bin, Maggie must follow, and she finds herself in a magical version of the museum where all the objects come to life, courtesy of the crazy Night Keeper who, like Maggie, loves to make things out of rubbish.Searching for her sister, Maggie meets Napoleon, Beethoven, vikings, a dinosaur and others, each with expressive faces and movement. The puppetry is so good that you forget about the puppeteers, and scenes that zoom in and out of a street are particularly impressive. A pianist half-hidden by piles of rubbish plays backing music that makes the whole experience even sweeter, and creates a funny scene when Beethoven is brainstorming his fifth symphony.
At one point I thought the show was going to be quite scary for a four year old, but when the lights came back on the Egyptian mummy looked as friendly as one of Jim Henson's Muppets. There are plenty of laughs to keep parents entertained and the play is far more entertaining than the similarly-themed film Night at the Museum. The Night Keeper is a heart-warming magical story that will inspire children to make things, Blue Peter-style. Who knows, they may even go to museums willingly.
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