1927 show at Theatre Royal
ANOTHER week, another new theatre piece featuring video.
Some will already be shifting uneasily in their seats and thinking, "Can't we just have some quality, straight-up theatre?"
Think again. The Animals And Children Took To The Streets offers both.
The latest work by pioneering London company 1927 reaches the Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP) trailing five-star reviews in its wake, sprinkled on it by critics from Edinburgh and London to Sydney.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Its secret is that the film is not a layer added as an after-thought, says 1927 co-artistic director Paul Barritt.
"If you add film it feels like it is tagged on," says the film-maker from Newquay.
"If film is there at the start of the creative process it feels natural."
As for the story, the setting is the Bayou, a fared and loathed part of the city.
In Bayou Mansions, a stinking tenement block, curtain-twitchers and peeping-toms live side by side, and the wolf is always at the door.
Into that come Agnes Eaves and her daughter late one night. Does hope follow – or more horror?
You will find out as this subversive parable of social mobility, revolution and suppression unfolds.
And be assured that all is not gloom. Paul promises that comedy lightens the black mood.
He founded 1927 eight years ago with Suzanne Andrade, the other co-artistic director, who takes writing and directing duties.
"The name comes from the year when the first talkie came out, The Jazz Singer," Paul explains.
"We wanted to take film back to the silent era when cinema was a much more theatrical experience.
"It had live music and early on it would be part of a bill of live acts.
"The Animals And Children still has a generally theatrical feeling. It does not feel like a cinema intervention.
"The projections on to the screen are an opportunity to light the set which is an old school theatrical set – it's not a 'black box' stage.
"The film is animation which feels pat of the fabric."
Critics have likened The Animals to a graphic novel bursting into life on the stage.
That reflects Paul's background in illustration and animation and, maybe, the cartoon colour absorbed while growing up in one of Britain's more lively seaside towns.
He left Newquay at 23 to study first philosophy and later illustration and then to make his mark in animation and film.
He has exhibited his artwork in galleries and made several stand-alone films, which have been distributed internationally.
His short Shed won an award at the Darklight Film Festival in Dublin and Belfast.
As well as his work with 1927, Paul lecturers in animation and illustration at Middlesex University.
Visits to Newquay where his parents and grandmother still live are restricted to holidays an family occasions because of the demands of his jobs in London.
There is unlikely to be a big reunion in Plymouth next week, although the Barritt clan are big supporters of his work. "My family have all seen the show several times already," he says.
The Animals And Children Took To The Streets runs at the Drum at TRP from Tuesday-Saturday next week.