I was invited with my daughter to see Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree. I didn’t really know what to expect, I knew the night was based on an ancient Indian collection of animal fables called the Panchatantra and the show was aimed at children aged between 7 – 12 years.
The staging was simple, with bamboo sticks and paper leaves lining the stage, after the show I heard one of the actresses talking about the huge size of the theatre suggesting that it was a lot larger then most spaces they’ve performed in.
There are only 3 cast members who wear masks to show their characters and at first I found it distracting but as I’d time to get into the mind of a child and willingly suspended my disbelief I started the see the actors in the roles of the animals, including a mongoose, crow and tiger. The actors were great at acting out the animal roles, whether it be the proud look of a lion or the playfulness of a mongoose. They were also great at using basic items as props throughout the play, my favourite was the corbra represented by a huge rope.
I knew that each of the 3 individual stories had a moral and I tried to work each one out as we went along. Most of them were basic, the only one I never completely understood was the mongoose story but each had an explanation at the end and there’s a summary of all the morals at the end of the show.
My daughter was on the younger end of the age range and she seemed to find some of the scenes quite scary, I was also worried about the constant references to death. But in the end she said that she had enjoyed the show, dispite needing a few cuddles from daddy in the scary bits.
The night was fun and we enjoyed it a lot, as well as the brilliant acting the actors were great at interacting with the audience and bringing us some important morals, including ‘Thinking hard before taking action’ and that ‘You shouldn’t be afraid to take control even if you’re young’.
The production, that originally played at The Polka Theatre in September 2018, is now touring the UK from 20th January – 2nd March 2019.
Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch
Friday 25 – Saturday 26 January Box Office: 01708 443 333
The Lighthouse, Poole
Saturday 2 February Box Office: 01202 280 000
Monday 4 – Wednesday 6 February Box Office: 0116 242 3560
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
Saturday 9 February Box Office: 01473 295 500
The Albany, Deptford
Sunday 10th February Box Office: 020 8692 4446
Saturday 16 February Box Office: 01753 875533
The Woodville, Gravesend
Sunday 17 February Box Office: 01474 337 459
Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 February Box Office: 020 8333 4457
Luton Library Theatre
Tuesday 26 – Wednesday 27 February Box Office: 01582 878 100
Would you like Andrew to come and review your show? Whether your a professional or an amateur production we’re happy to review just email us at HornchurchLife@gmail.com