Words by Lucy Mounfield
Running from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 30th December, The Old Joint Stock Theatre will present Skellig, their family- friendly Christmas show produced in association with Tin Robot Theatre.
Skellig will run daily at The Old Joint Stock Theatre, except on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Doors will open at 7pm for all evening shows, with 2pm matinees on 23rd, 24th, 28th and 30th Dec. Tickets are priced at £16 for all performances – for direct event info and online ticket sales, click here.
Tin Robot Theatre are a Midlands-based company led by director Adam Carver, an associate of The Old Joint Stock Theatre. Having only been established a few short years, Tin Robot Theatre have already built an impressive back catalogue and most recently produced their interpretation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds (to read Lucy Mounfield’s Birmingham Review of The War of the Worlds, click here).
For their latest endeavour, The Old Joint Stock Theatre and Tin Robot Theatre will be bringing to life David Almond’s much-loved story, Skellig, for the Christmas period. Skellig has fostered numerous productions and is particularly malleable source material due to its ambiguity of meaning and richness of allusion – adaptations can emphasise facets of the original work and build on them in their own way.
A mainstay of secondary school English lessons, Skellig tells the story of a young boy called Michael who, when his younger sister falls ill after moving to a new house, stumbles into the ramshackle garage of his new home where he inadvertently discovers a magical creature, Skellig.
In uncertain times, Michael finds hope and a sense of belonging when he begins to look after the unknown creature. Along the way the story offers meditations on numerous subjects, prompting you down avenues of thought but always leaving elements open to interpretation and the imagination of the audience or director. This is true even as far as Skellig himself; his true nature is not fully determined by the end of the story. It is exciting, therefore, to see Skellig get the Tin Robot treatment.
In Tin Robot Theatre’s own words from their website: ‘We believe in story, and champion the stories of Others; our work has focused on identity (in its many guises), its construction, and relation to popular and dominant culture. We make “full-fat” theatre. We believe in theatre as an experience beginning the moment the audience arrives, transforming space and bringing our distinctive visual style to breathe new life into the familiar.’
With their claustrophobic apocalypse, The War of the Worlds, having only just run its current course, Skellig offers a similar opportunity for Tin Robot Theatre to make their own mark on a classic. What threads will they choose to pull on, and how will their take on Skellig develop?
Skellig runs the The Old Joint Stock Theatre from 20-30th December. For direct details, including show times and online ticket sales, click here.
For more from The Old Joint Stock, visit www.oldjointstock.co.uk
For more on Tin Robot Theatre, visit www.facebook.com/TinRobotTheatre