24-26 November 2016
Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
Last night, I was fortunate to be able to take my 6-year-old daughter to see Artur Pita’s The Little Match Stick Girl at The Lowry Theatre in Salford. My daughter loves to see magical performances so was very excited to watch this show after her grandma had told her all about the time she had seen the Hans Christian Anderson performance. Pita had created a magical dance adaptation of the original play.
Set in an imaginary Italian city, Santo Stefano Sul Tuscio, the story begins with Fiammetta, The Little Match Girl, selling her matches on a cold Christmas Eve. Shivering from the cold, she meets both good and bad people along the way. First of all she meets a kind man who lights the street lamps and they happily perform a dance together. An unkind boy steals her matches and her shoes and leaves her tied up in the snow. A selfish, cruel family refuse to help her and turn off their lights when she is freezing cold and hungry. Eventually Flammetta goes to her beloved grandmother’s grave to seek comfort and then passes away. She travels to the moon with her grandma and then watches over another unfortunate girl who is selling lighters in the present time.
Throughout the show, the music was performed by one man, playing an accordion, a guitar a musical box and other musical instruments.
I enjoyed the fact that the performance was in Italian as it added to the mystery and set the scene effectively. My daughter was entranced by the foreign language as she had never heard it spoken before.
The dancing was impeccable, very contemporary and enjoyable. It was performed by only four dancers, three of which took on all the different roles and one who sing in a beautiful falsetto voice.
My daughter and I had a fantastic evening and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. At just over an hour long, it was a suitable length for children to engage without starting to get restless. I would rate this performance 4 out of 5.
For other shows at The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000