The Tin Soldier by the Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is an exciting, unpredictable, very entertaining but also critical play. It was obviously based on the romantic fairy tail by Hans Christian Andersen, which focuses on several dolls and other toys in the possession of a young, fortunate and rich boy. Specifically, it is the story about a steadfast tin soldier with only one leg. He is in love with a beautiful ballerina who is only standing on one leg as she is in a constant dancing pose. Therefore, the tin soldier thinks that the ballerina is just like him, incomplete, out of the norm. On day this soldier gets thrown away by the boy and has a long journey ahead of him while trying to find a way back to his true love.
The Birds of Paradise Theatre Company took Andersen’s original story and put it in a different setting told by a kid that is also an outsider due to a disability and who tells the story of the tin soldier while he is telling his own story of how he started liking this fairy tail although he used to hate it at first. So, this way the story is told by another outsider which is out of the norm, not completely accepted by society. A boy, who tells his own problems through the tin soldier as they reflect each other’s outsider positions, shortcomings and troubles.
In the play other social criticism is portrayed in a very well way for kids to understand but also touching and gripping for the grownups. All of this is put into a nice play with original music which is performed live. With and addition of sign language throughout the play so everyone can understand what is going on. Also, the whole text is portrayed on a screen during the show and, therefore, this piece can be heard, seen and read, experienced through several senses. This play includes not only a wider audience with this kind of performance but also wider range of actors. It is an integrative play which is performed by people from different backgrounds for people with all sorts of backgrounds.
The story is very gripping, sweet and sad. The actors play very well and it is definitely a show to be recommended to young and old as it is fun but also educating. Especially, perfect to watch during the holidays. It is heart-warming but also a reflection of our society and the problems that we face. And I think, if this would be the way we tell fairy tails and stories from now on, maybe, in the future we will deal with our problems better, and probably wouldn’t even have these problems. Because we would most likely try to work together more, include everyone to make a better future for all of us.
This performance can still be seen until Christmas at The Studio:
Thurs 7 - Sat 23 December, Evenings 7pm (not Sun or Mon) Matinees 2pm Thu 14, Fri 15, Wed 20, Thu 21, Fri 22 and Sat 23 December
For details please see the official homepage: http://www.edtheatres.com/thetinsoldier
And for more information about the Birds of Paradise Theatre Company have a look at: http://www.boptheatre.co.uk/tin-soldier/