Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jerusalem's Train Theatre: destination somewhere dry

Watching the show

IF, LIKE me, you stumble across Jerusalem's Train Theatre and think you've hit kiddie gold then a word of warning: the company's repertoire is distinctly engine free. And it's no longer based in the old train carriage to which it owes its name, and hasn't been for longer than anyone working there now can easily remember.

Instead, what it is, is a charming little puppet theatre that puts on a wide mix of shows two or three times a week all aimed at children of varying ages. Given Louis's Hebrew is somewhat patchy, I'd been giving it a wide berth. But desperation and a Biblical weather forecast - I'm thinking Noah, not Moses's locust plague - forced me to reconsider, especially as it's based in Liberty Bell Park, a mere stone's throw, or short scoot, from our pad. Even better, it looked like today's show, The Cubes Circus, was set to music, making it the perfect choice for the Hebrew challenged.

Alas, one of the dancers was sick so they switched the performance to a story for the 5s and up: Rain Bird - A Paper Tale. Not to be defeated, I paid up for two tickets and scanned a brief synopsis of the plot - broadly, "the most beautiful bird in the world" finds it tough to cope with life in the 21st century - and we settled down, Louis on one knee and a squirming Raf on the other. Despite understanding just the one word in the whole show ("tinoch", which means baby) I think I made a fairly good translator, especially as Louis could hardly argue with my rendition.

I'd like to say he was entranced by the stunning origami puppetry, which spanned the set to the protagonists, but typical Louis, a single plastic car turned out to be his highlight. That and the police siren used to help create the illusion of the village, where life for a paper bird was easy, turning into a city. At least the car made up for the lack of trains, although Louis bought my ill-informed claim that the mini stage was based in an old train carriage happily enough.

Actually, I'm being unfair: he loved the whole thing, and best of all, it set us up for an afternoon of our own origami, which was useful given the rain is making me regret bringing just the one Snuggle Bunny and Mummy Nelly with us to Israel. If it keeps up for much longer, we'll be able to put on our own show.

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