Theatre review: The Pine Tree, Poggle And Me

POGGLE is the kind of otherworldly creature you might come across at the Beltane Fire Festival.

Adventures for under-threes in The Pine Tree, Poggle and Me.
Adventures for under-threes in The Pine Tree, Poggle and Me.

The Pine Tree, Poggle And Me

Dundee Rep

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She’s a woodland sprite in autumnal browns and greens whose preferred blanket is a layer of pine branches. Sometimes birdlike, sometimes animalistic, she moves with a touch of kathakali (jingling bells and all) and a dash of pelvis-rocking African dance. She is, as composer-cum-pine-tree Daniel Padden sings, a “mischief maker, maker of fun”.

Played by Jade Adamson in this winning show for the under-threes, Poggle is an alluring, unpredictable, ethereal spirit. She’s certainly alluring enough for Vince Virr, playing a young boy who wanders into the woods where he finds the cut and thrust of his solitary games being mirrored by this captivating play partner.

Together, they explore the terrain – muddy banks, tree tops, beehives and stepping stones – sometimes followed by the more adventurous members of their audience, but as often as not performing deft duets in response to the landscape.

Directed and choreographed by Natasha Gilmore for the MacRobert Arts Centre and Barrowland Ballet, The Pine Tree, Poggle and Me is a quietly inventive piece of dance-theatre about the joy of discovery.

Each turn of the large wooden cubes that make up Fred Pommerehn’s set reveals another woodland secret, drawing us deeper into the life of the forest. Gilmore, meanwhile, moves her performers vertically as well as horizontally, creating a visual dynamic that is matched by the tummy-tapping, box-slapping rhythms that grow organically out of the environment of a richly conceived show.

Seen on 11.04.15