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KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE at the Southwark Playhouse

Published by: Elaine Pinkus on 16th Aug 2017 | View all blogs by Elaine Pinkus

KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE by Eiko Kadono, adapted for the stage by Jessica Sian.

Inspired by her daughter’s drawings of a girl witch, Eiko Kadono’s tale of  Kiki’s Delivery Service took flight. It is a story which reminds us of the importance of loyalty and emotional bonds to family and friends which is so often forgotten in this hi-tech 21st century world. Modern life is so fast paced that we forget the importance of commitment and of human values.

Age 13, the young and impetuous Kiki is keen to make her debut on the stage of witchcraft. Heeding the advice of her parents and taking with her close companion Jiji the cat, the petulant teenager takes flight, sporting her bright red bow and her more sombre black witch’s dress. During her travels she experiences many adventures and learns the importance of friendship and loyalty. After all, even though her delivery service soon becomes a thriving business, Kiki insists costs are paid in kindness – a lesson that may need to be re-introduced to our modern age of bottom line profit and harsh social media.

Kiki in her witch outfit.jpg

Jennifer Leong (Kiki)- photograph Helen Murray

Having played to full audiences at Christmas 2016, this production has returned to the Southwark Playhouse for a few weeks only and with a new cast. The matinee performance I attended was almost full with a mix of adults, young children and teenage drama students. At 90 minutes with no interval, this was a big ask of the youngsters but they sat transfixed and cheered loudly at the end.

But for me, alas, there was no magic. I found the production rather too frantic, with characters running to and fro and almost hysterically shouting at points. Nevertheless, I could not help but appreciate the considered minimalist staging (Simon Bejer) of pastel coloured cubes that were moved to form different tableaux. These, with the clever use of lighting (Elliot Griggs) and the mixed sound effects (Max Pappenheim), a setting was created that  encouraged imagination. Rather refreshing when compared to the computer generated productions that we seem to expect now. Nor could I fail to appreciate the fantastic choreographed movements of flight that were directed by Robin Guiver. 

The cast of six worked well together, with some taking on many different roles.  Well done to Thomas Gilbey’s Jiji and Stevie Raine (Okino), who injected many moments of gleeful humour into Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Kiki and JiJi.jpg

Thomas Gilbey and Jiji - photograph Helen Murray

Venue

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway
London SE1 6BD

 

Nearest Tube: Borough / Elephant and Castle

Performances

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE

Thursday 10 August – Sunday 3 September 2017

Tuesday to Sunday at 3pm and 7.30pm
No performances on Mondays

Box Office Online    www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk 

24 HOURS/NO BOOKING FEES

By Telephone    020 7407 0234    NO BOOKING FEES

Ticket Prices

Previews from 10 – 13 August - all tickets £12
From 15 August: £20, £16 (conc.)

Family ticket: £64

Concessions

 

Students, Under 16’s, Unwaged, Registered disabled, Over 65’s

 

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