Picture: Luke Evans

What The Moon Saw

Patrick Centre

Birmingham Hippodrome


“Oh, how my heart leaped up with joy! Here was a well-known face at last- a round, friendly countenance, the face of a good friend I had known at home. In fact, it was the MOON that looked in upon me.” Extract from What the Moon Saw by Hans Christian Andersen.

Magically inspired by this story, from Danish author best known for writing children’s classic stories like The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling, director Tamsin Fitzgerald brought her modern interpretation of What the Moon Saw to The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome.

I was lucky enough to catch my first glimpse of this delightful dance performance as part of the Birmingham Weekender along Edgbaston Street which tickled my taste buds and I knew my five year old daughter would be as enchanted and amazed and I was.

As soon as we walked into the theatre the experience began as we had our bags searched by a man in his dressing gown. The audience were encouraged to wear their pyjamas and slippers to fully immerse themselves into the adventure and upon walking into the theatre it was dark with lots of twinkly lights and duvet covers on all the seats to snuggle up with.

Kai Tomioka immerses himself into the character of Jack as he meets the Moon who appears in an aerial hoop suspended from the ceiling. The extremely dextrous Moon, aka Jason Boyle, performs circus acrobatics wowing young and old and creating lots of questions from my fascinated daughter as she wanted to know how he could hang upside down without holding on but not falling off?

The set and the costumes designed by Yann Seabra helped bring the story to life and the chalk drawings to the walls helped to illustrate the narrative. Unconventional entrances and exits through the set cleverly allowed the dancers to disappear through shelves and come up over the roof or through hidden boxes blowing the minds of the children.

The best bit for my daughter was by far the appearance of the dragon as it was so sparkly and colourful and emerged on to stage in a plume of smoke. Also after the 45-minute show ended the whole audience was invited on to the set to write in chalk all over the walls, to bounce in the bed and play with all the toys and chat to members of the 2Faced Dance Company.

We spoke with Louis-Parker-Evans who played Dad, Chimney Sweep, Fisherman and Dragon who told us how they had adapted the show outside for Birmingham Weekender to inside the theatre for this performance. All the dancers were so approachable and welcoming making it more than just a dance show but more of an experience. It had it all.

In the foyer before and after the show were lots of craft activities for the visitors to get involved and there was no rush and you were allowed to enjoy every moment.

This creative and truly magical re-imagining was a memorable performance never to be forgotten. I would definitely recommend the show to all and can’t wait to see what they come up with next. So refreshing and innovative and certainly ignited my imagination.

Emma Trimble


Index page Hippodrome Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre