The Little White Town of Never Weary
Falkirk Town Hall
Children’s dreams and colour schemes / Stop little town from falling down
It’s 5pm in The Little White Town of Never Weary, a quiet as a mouse neighbourhood close to the far from bustling Boreland. Sweetie Megs and The Blue Swan are falling into disrepair. And the steeple, like the town, is decrepit, degraded and decayed after years of neglect, a lack of visitors and thunderous vibrations from the big, scary bell tower which dominates the square and for the last hundred years has chimed on the hour, every hour, and in so doing brought masonry and morale crashing to the ground.
“Can a cat, can a cat, cat a cat, can a cat not get a catnip around here,” miaows a ginger tabby who is awoken from his slumber by Jessie, a young girl with golden hair and twinkling eyes who is “never lonely when drawing”. Today’s dreams and colour schemes being a white swan on a blue lake, which she shares with her newfound friends of primary school children who surround her on a colourful floor cloth and are held spellbound by her soprano voice: “My name is Jessie. I like to make things. Anything is possible.”
One of the central themes of this delightful show for 5 to 8 year olds by Scottish Opera – directed by Julie Brown, with music and words from Karen MacIver and Martin Travers respectively – which is based on the illustrated novel by The Glasgow Girls artist Jessie M. King and will be touring schools and theatres throughout Scotland until 11 June as part of Festival of Architecture 2016. The other themes being “patience and imagination” and “friendship and determination”, as voiced by a melodious paper fortune teller.
With a sprinkling of audience participation, sophisticated wordplay which can best be described as McSondheim and a host of colourful characters such as Transylvanian schoolteacher Dame Lucky, a sweet-toothed granny “with a face like a winter’s apple” and Gilbert the Baker who is more doh! than dough, the four-strong cast led by a sweet-voiced Charlotte Hoather and supported by actor-musicians Stuart Semple, John Kielty and Frances Thorburn, return the tired town back to its technicolour glory by encouraging the children to not hide in their hair and be dull and messy, but pluck up the courage to create just like Jessie!