WHEN TROLLS TRY TO EAT YOUR GOLDFISH
When we plug our imaginations in - our minds can be an absolute playground. During our youth we have no trouble with this, jumping from one half baked story to the next. We’re in a class, on a rocket, surfing on a rainbow - hiding from a dragon in a dark, dark cave. Before life and it’s seriousness gets to us, magic is our currency and as an adult it’s often easy to forget just how much our brain is in credit with it.
Dominic Berry - aka Dommy B - Poet & Storyteller extraordinaire gets the concept though and his playful antics at Ciao Roma take his audience on a spellbinding journey. A young girl called Nikki, her mum, a family of trolls and complete menagerie of animals are the cast for this magnificent journey and all Dom needs to show them? Himself, a room and some people to help demonstrate the story from time to time. This is storytelling in its purest form as we lend our imaginations for 45 minutes of mesmerising fun.
The performance of our host is stylised and sharp with each movement and gesture purposefully fine tuned to give us a sense of place within the story. Perspectives (the difference in size of our troll friends to the stature of Nikki for example) are handled carefully and the performance is never so rushed that we feel we’ve missed anything. Characters (both human and animal) are well thought out and we believe entirely in every sheep, cat, fish, seagull and more that grace our stage.
The kids from the front to the back were catered for as Dom takes care to cover the space in the auditorium throughout - in fact he is almost always on the move. This is a performer who understands the disappointment young audience members can feel if they don’t feel connected to show and thus every single pair of eyes is transfixed on the story from start till finish.
This audience interaction works well and is often a welcome break from narrative of Nikki’s adventures with the troll. Breaking up the action with moments of improvisation is great for the younger members of the audience and they never once get the chance to fidget or start to wander. Even when there are a few dominant children who get excited and want to interject, Dom manages to support them and guide them back into the rest of the story. This is someone who knows how to handle a 6 year old heckler!
I will not spoil the plot of the story for you. All you need to know is that trolls are generally hungry, Great Marmaduke the 3rd is a goldfish and that the title of the show should give you some idea of where the jeopardy lays. Carrots it would appear, from what we find out in the tale, may prove to be very useful in a dangerous situation...
We all left the venue with a massive smile on our faces, whether we were 5 or 55 and that’s where the strength of Dom’s storytelling lies. It’s his ability to connect with whoever he is in the room with - being generous to include, but never forgetting that it’s also his job to get us from A to B. Like a plucky tour guide who lets you explore those little side streets as he always knows the way back to the main road. It’s a joy to go on this voyage of discovery with him.
‘When Trolls try to eat your goldfish’ is playing at Ciao Roma until 24th August (not 18th) at 11:50 daily.