Theatre reviews

Hatch festival (Little Angel Theatre) ‘Some years after his famous transformation and despite his local celebrity, the Ugly Duckling is losing his looks and has not found his place on the pond. He meets a similarly alienated hoodie-wearing duck born to a swan family, and they form a spiky friendship…’ Animations Online 30

My Mother Told Me Not To Stare (Action Transport/Theatre Hullabaloo) ‘Once upon a time, the narrator tells us, a boy called Bobby was delivered by stork to a cobbler and his wife in the town of Upper Crumble. They keep him in a cupboard till he’s old enough to work, and then exploit him brutally in the best traditions of Victorian gothic…’ Animations Online 30

Hunger (TinkerTing/Pickled Image) ‘The unnamed writer at the centre of Hunger has a skull-like, bald head. Dark eyesockets are concealed by spectacles. His top lip protrudes, with a drooping articulated mouth giving him a permanently disagreeable expression…’ Animations Online 28

Shun-kin (Complicite) ‘Shun-kin is about delicate sensations – a dim black and white photo of a woman’s face, an inky city on a hill at night, water poured through a bamboo pipe, the sigh made by sliding screens, the fluttering of wings…’ Animations Online 26

The Soldier with No Name (The Winged Cranes) ‘Claude Cahun described her art as “the impossible realised in a magic mirror”. Her photographs – troubling assemblages of everyday objects, bodies treated as objects, selves doubled, conjoined and fragmented – invite animation… Animations Online 26

La Fin des Terres (Compagnie Philippe Genty) ‘The trap doors and sliding screens, the objects that float through the air unaided, recall Victorian magic tricks. But, as Philippe Genty says, “reality imitates illusion”. The illusions of earlier eras have materialised in our own. Tricks involving transportation – a person appearing in two places at once, a letter delivered instantaneously – have become everyday facts. La Fin des Terres takes place in our time, in our nightmares…’ Animations Online 19

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