Somewhere in middle England four unlikely teenagers are preparing for judgment day with ladders, Elvis and Forest Fruits squash – Stokely’s Annual Talent Competition is nigh.
With a stage full of instruments and an eclectic mix of recorded music, Little Bulb Theatre capture the confusing, awkward and beautifully naïve time of adolescence. The time when the once simple beliefs you held dear now need re-adjusting to face the complexities of adulthood. Operation Greenfield is a bizarre and visually fantastical exploration of faith and friendship.
Praise be to the young and highly talented. That description has fit Little Bulb Theatre perfectly ever since this five-person ensemble made its Fringe debut fresh out of college. Crocosmia , a captivating show about childhood grief, won them multiple gongs in 2008. Last year the Bulbs were in residence at the Forest Fringe, the most innovative venue on the Fringe. Now they’re back with a beguiling company-devised piece that uses music as a springboard to examine youthful friendships in the context of religious faith.
*****The Herald by Mary Brennan
A ‘WILL they/won’t they?’ feeling came with my ticket for Operation Greenfield. Heart-squeezing memories of Crocosmia – the award-winning Little Bulb Theatre piece about young siblings coping with the sudden loss of both parents – were still strong. Could this new show match that earlier triumph?
Oh my, yes – and with a fresh slew of insights into the growing pains of adolescence that leave you helpless with laughter one moment, then caught in a sympathetic wince of embarrassment at the awkward situations as teenage hormones head for meltdown.
****The Guardian by Lyn Gardner
In the beginning there was chaos, and then there was Christmas. That’s the kind of logic behind this glorious, daft and dippy musical. It’s the latest show from Little Bulb, whom you may remember from their debut show Crocosmia, a delicate tale of Battenburg cake and loss told by siblings whose parents had died, or their epic folk musical, Sporadical. This is a company so recklessly talented you want to hug them and keep them safe in case they spoil. Some may suspect that they are getting away on sheer charm, but their musicianship is superb, and their ability to conjure the pains of youth uncanny.
Little Bulb Theatre Company
PULSE Fringe Festival (Ipswich)
New Wolsey Studio on Friday 10 June at 7.30pm
Tickets: £8 / 01473 295900 / www.pulsefringe.com