Review: Chloe and the Colour Catcher, Bristol Old Vic
Updated: Jan 23, 2019
I have been taking my children to the theatre since they were tiny, and we have many happy memories of attending some fantastic Christmas shows in Bristol over the years.
So I was really looking forward to watching the latest production from the award-winning Ad Infinitum company at the Bristol Old Vic last week. My son and I took our seats in the intimate and newly-refurbished Weston Studio, excited to watch the story of Chloe who "lives in a world with only one colour, a world that is completely grey. But at night, when she’s wrapped up tight, her dreams are colourful and bright."
Even before the show started, the performers interacted with everyone in the audience, with Charlotte Dubery as wide-eyed and innocent Chloe introducing youngsters to her beloved cat Smokey, and Grandma Magenta (played wonderfully by Hanora Kamen) casting a friendly and slightly eccentric eye over everyone's fashion choices! It was evident from this brilliantly inclusive beginning that this play was going to have something for everyone.
A minimalistic stage set the tone perfectly for the grey and drab world which Chloe had lived in all her life, the colour being stolen from everything around her by The Colour Catcher. Cue lots of grey puns as she ate grey food, wore grey clothes, and was taught at school by a paranoid headmistress called Greyvina (played with comic effect by Peter Edwards).
After dreaming one night of a world where colour is possible (her cat changes from grey to this strange bright colour called yellow), Chloe must find the courage to stand up for what she believes in. Aided by the inspirational Grandma Magenta, Chloe becomes a "rainbow rebel" and despite some setbacks, she finally overthrows Her Greynesty The Colour Catcher, with some help from a fantastic piece of audience participation at the end!
This is a hugely enjoyable show which is perfect for little theatregoers at just 45 minutes long. However, the talented and lively cast are able to keep the adults in the audience fully entertained too. The upbeat musical score from Brian Hargreaves will have you tapping your feet, and the theme of fighting fear with hope and determination will surely resonate with everyone who watches.
Even as we exited the theatre to the dark and rainy evening outside, we had a bit of an extra spring in our step, and my son enjoyed talking about the performance as we walked home. The political undertones may be lost on very young children but there's no doubt that this entertaining show will be one of our most colourful memories this Christmas.
Chloe and the Colour Catcher runs until Sunday 6th January at Bristol Old Vic. See showtimes and book tickets here.
Disclaimer: I was offered two free tickets to watch the show in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. Cast photo credits: Paul Blakemore