Pullman said he enjoyed seeing one of his fairytales come full-circle
at the Crucible, Sheffield on Tuesday night.
Firework-maker's Daughter started life as a way for the former teacher
to incorporate bright lights, loud bangs and eastern gamelan music
into a school play.
(Hayley Carmichael) shows her determination to master pyrotechnics.
story of the girl with a passion for pyrotechnics became a children's
book by the Whitbread award-winning author.
it has burst onto stage in a flurry of sparkling wit, colour and
humour with the occasional glimpse of darkness.
is the dishevelled but determined daughter of firework-maker Lalchand.
longs to follow in his footsteps, but he wants her to marry and
refuses to tell her the secret of the firework-maker's art.
in all good myths, this disappointment is the impetus for a journey
in which the heroine will encounter fantastical obstacles, rely
on her friends and overcome her own weaknesses.
hapless helpmeet: Chulak (Edward Hogg)
energy and inventiveness of the Told by an Idiot company make for
a refreshing take on a classic genre.
is a crossover author, whose cult children's books have a wide appeal.
production provides plenty of light, shade and moral complexity
for the adults in the audience.
is a mythical land where the deadly consequences of failure are
very real and some of the more dramatic moments have the power to
make this grown-up whimper.
Carmichael's gritty Lila is a thoroughly likeable and human heroine,
whose fractious relationship with the hapless Chulak (Edward Hogg)
is fallible and believeable.
Bleach also stands out as a master of wry understatement playing
the lugubrious - and lovelorn - white elephant Hamlet.
funny: Rambashi (Paul Hunter) and his merry band.
the real star of the show in this ensemble piece is the imagination.
ingenious wooden stage is a blank canvas from which flights of comic
fantasy - and darker fears - can materialise at will.
of cult authors often complain when magical tales are made flesh
and fail to match up to the image in their mind's eye.
here the company's ever more creative ways to represent the ephemeral,
mythical and metaphorical make a virtue of theatricality.
by an Idiot are known for their physical theatre.
Their swirling parachute silk goddesses, white elephants, scary
monsters, government spies and fiery infernos should remind anyone
of the sheer joy of escapism.
there's not a cliche - certainly not a fairytale princess - in sight.
Firework-Maker's Daughter is at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
from Saturday 12 March to Saturday 5th April.