Traverse@Scottish Book Trust until Sunday August 29, 2010
Pitched very precisely at two to four year olds, Andy Manley's White is an utter delight.
Using the simple language forms of the age-group and recognising the things with which
they find delight, he has woven a clever and entrancing narrative. Not to forget the few
secret smiles for parents in designer Shona Reppe's costumes, using such items as a toilet
pedestal mat for an apron.
In a genre where television and book tie-ins are the norm, Manley finds other ways of creating universally understood themes. Morning ritual is at the play's heart as Manley's Cotton wakes up and helps Ian Cameron's Wrinkle wash his face and comb his hair. Their work is to name the colour of the items all around them in their completely white set. The occasional coloured item is ceremonially thrown away.
Danny Krass’ well-conceived score and sound design helps create a sense of anticipation. Eventually, eggs magically fall from the sky with more ritual and ceremony. Disruption comes with one rogue red egg which, the pair discover, spreads colour through the whole set. Manley has a strong track record for work for this age-group and has made Catherine Wheels’ first venture into it a palpable hit, which should be around for a long time to come.