I was really into going to the theatre when I was younger. In my town in England, we had our own place called the Mowlem Theatre where I would regularly watch shows and sometimes perform in them. Moving to Reunion in 2007, I found it hard to enter the theatre scene (pardon the pun). This was for two very good reasons, firstly I couldn’t understand French, and secondly because I couldn’t drive, so I would have had a hard time getting to and from the theatre. By the time I had learnt how to drive, I had totally forgotten about the wonderful experience going to the theatre could be.
While looking for family activities during the school holidays, I found out about the Komidi theatre festival. I had already missed the majority of the festival but luckily there were still three days left. I had really wanted to see a piece for adults, but we decided to see Thumbelina because it was for children, and this would be the first French show that my daughters would see. We arrived in St Joseph early to walk around the town and appreciate being in a new environment. Stopping off for some ice-cream too we really felt on holiday.
In the theatre, there were thirty of us crammed into a very small area. The stage was set already, and the curtains open. As the last of us took our seats, the house lights dimmed. A woman entered the stage and smiled at the audience. She took out a book and started to read the story. Soon into the performance, however, the story took over, and she became the characters she was narrating. Quick on-stage costume changes followed as she moved from one character to another. Going from a witch, to a mouse, to a mole and to Thumbelina herself without breaking a sweat. The stage transformed too, from a bedroom, to a lake and to a forest. All of the children in the audience were gobsmacked.
What a show! I’d never been so enthralled and entertained by a one-man performance even if it was aimed at children from the age of three. If you haven’t guessed already, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The Komidi theatre festival takes place every year in the south of the island and I highly recommend you go. There are plays for all ages and tastes. Even if you’re not a theatre lover, your children will absolutely fall in love with the magical experience of the children’s shows. At €1 a ticket, it’ll hardly break the bank! Next year I’ll remember about this festival, and I won’t miss the chance to see as many shows as I can.
own – propre
to have a hard time – avoir du mal
Thumbelina – Poucette
crammed – entassé
curtains – rideaux
to dim – tamiser
to take over – prendre le contrôle
witch – sorcière
mole – taupe
sweat – transpiration
gobsmacked – stupéfiés
enthralled – captivés
thoroughly – complètement
taste – goût
to break the bank – être coûteux