Photograph Taken from Nottingham Playhouse Programme : I Was A Rat
“I Was A Rat!” insists a scruffy page boy who turns up one evening on the doorstep of old married couple Bob and Joan. But what is he now? A terrifying monster rampaging in the sewers? A money-spinning fairground freak? Or just an ordinary boy, though a little ratty in his habits?
We were lucky enough to have been invited to the Nottingham Playhouse, to the press night of I Was A Rat. I Was A Rat, was written originally by Phillip Pullman, but adapted for the stage and directed by Teresa Ludovico.
Miss N (10) and myself attended, and though neither of us had read the book, we were very excited to see it, having loved His Dark Materials immensely. The stories that Phillip tells, are often open to interpretation, and he firmly believes that it isn’t the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what they mean.
I’m not in the message business; I’m in the “Once upon a time” business.
I think this is something to keep in mind whilst watching I Was A Rat, as the story really can mean so many things to different people, but in essence it is very much like a fairytale.
Overall I really enjoyed the play, I found the characters Joan and Bob very endearing, and really enjoyed watching their relationship unfold throughout the play. In particular, Roger played by Fox Jackson-Keen was amazing. His acting was very much light and shade, full of emotion, but the childlike innocence of Roger he played to perfection. There is a section in the play, where he performs a dance, that truly blows you away to watch.
I enjoyed the use of layered lighting to a ‘lightset’, and the lack of an actual physical set, though Miss N did not enjoy the sparseness of the stage. I found it directed all of the attention on the actors themselves, and because the play was so intense it worked. The costumes were imaginative. There was importance placed on making sure the characters all looked very different, to make it easier for the younger audience to distinguish between them, essential as the story was very fast paced. I also found it in places, very challenging, even a little disturbing. I think a younger audience of 7 perhaps is a little young, it is an incredibly powerful tale and very dark, but I have to say the children that I saw there that were a siimular age seemed to love it.
Tuesday 26 March – Saturday 13 April 2013
Main House – Tickets: £8.50 – £13.00 (Family Ticket £40)
Two hours, including intermission.
To see more reviews of the play: