Reviewed by Jamie Chapman Dixon
Nights of Enchantment walks us through several tales from the popular collection of 1001 Arabian Nights. Tree Folk Theatre have put their faith in New Writer Gillian Pencavel and you can understand why. Gillian’s writing is very mature yet rough around the edges, which is to be expected from any new writer.
The show itself is set in the very intimate Etcetera Theatre above The Oxford Arms pub in Camden. With a cast of six, using puppets, musical instruments and basic set to tell their stories, you become engaged with what is going on. The puppets are made to a high standard and are made up of an eclectic mix of just faces to full bodied pieces.
At times I lost the storyline and had to keep picking things up as there was so much going on, with too many stories within stories to keep count. Each story had a different feel and gave the audience something new to think about, we were definately not spoon fed anything.
The cast who were all as strong as each other (even tho I found myself mainly watching Abigail Rose Dempsey, Sarita Plowman and William Vercelli.) All six gave very mature, moving and sometimes comical performances which kept the audience entertained even though parts of the story could have been cut.
I would love to see this show with more money behind it and at a bigger venue, using more theatrical magic. Alice did a great job with the space she had and I was very impressed with her work.
To sum up the night, it was a hidden gem of a theatre, a nice piece to watch and I would definitely keep an eye out for both Tree Folk Theatre and Gillian Pencavel in the future. They are both ones to watch.
Written by Gillian Pencavel
Directed by Alice Sillet