Friday, September 22

Every Leaf A Hallelujah – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

The play follows the quest of determined Mangoshi, who is searching for a unique flower for her ill mother. Encouraged by her caring father and led by the sassy chief of trees ‘Baobab’, we are immediately immersed into this world of colour, beauty and grace of trees and abundance. In straightforward language, the play makes space for different emotions, from curiosity to fear, which would be an excellent tool for parents and teachers to pick up with students after watching the play. The play also illustrates how the ‘mycorrhizal network’ supported by the mycelium fungi helps trees pass messages about their joy and pain to one another. Based on Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri’s new fairytale, Every Leaf A Hallelujah. The play brings together music, poetry, movement and transformation for our protagonist and, hopefully, for the audience.

Photo: Marc Brenner

The show is engaging, the characters are relatable, and the premise is simple. I would love for the floor to be opened at the end of the show to hear from the students about what landed for them. The book has such colourful illustrations that I wonder if projections could help us more closely access these giant and elegant trees. The play engages young and adult audience members seamlessly for forty-five minutes. A twelve-minute walk from baker loo station, the open-air theatre is beautiful as summer sets in. The roses are in bloom, and the grass is covered with white flowers. The outdoor setting makes for a great accompaniment to this lively theatre piece. Gathering and maintaining the attention of more than thirty students, some as young as two years old, was no mean feat.

 Ingrid Mackinnon, Movement Director & Intimacy Support, graceful choreography was energetic and made one excited to join the performers grooving. The haunting music of Sura Susso that invites the audience in and bids us goodbye is very soothing. Each actor and actresses are in top form and seamlessly switches across the various characters they play. The improvisation between the actors and musician is a chemistry to witness. If you want to engage the young and old in your family this summer, head to Regents Park for this delightful show.

Playing until 10th June 2023,

Reviewer: Anisha Pucadyil

Reviewed: 25th May 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.