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10th January 2016

Review: Inkheart

Directed by Walter Meierjohann, HOME presents Inkheart as its first Winter showcase

HOME presents its first Christmas production with the opening of Inkheart. The production is a transformation of Cornelia Funke’s novel. Family friendly, full of humour and all the imagination of a child, this is a show to catch this festive season as an alternative to the pantomime.

The tale follows Meggie and her father Mo as the ink of the words of the books they’ve loved and looked after appear to have bled into the real world. Capricorn, known as the ‘baddest of bad guys’ is on the hunt for every remaining copy of Inkheart to ensure that he does not have to return to his world. Yet, there’s a further twist, as Meggie’s mother appears to have been transported and trapped inside Inheart’s book world. With a range of characters stuck in a world that they don’t belong in, it’s only Mo—the famous ‘Silvertongue’—who can attempt to put the world back in order. Following Mo, Meggie and her Aunt Elinor jump from England, to France and then Italy. The three embark on their mission to save Inkheart, and beat the bad guys.

It’s clearly a child-directed performance, but I did enjoy being taken back to my world of imagination of bad versus good and a quest of a story. The tale was cleverly self aware, with intertextuality twisted through the story’s narrative and re-emerging onto stage. The school group at the front of the theatre greatly enjoyed the interaction of the cast as they helped direct them to Capricorn. Mo himself appeared on my row in search of Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart, bringing the stage closer to the audience and carrying us into the story.

The stage transformed fittingly to each new narrative of the performance; a tremendous pile of books one moment, to a beach the next, before hiding Capricorn’s evil liar beneath it. Katherine Carlton, who played Meggie, was passionate, determined and brilliant in her portrayal, holding the stage and delivering the tale. The cast were eager, believable and amusing, capturing many laughs from the audience while portraying a range of traits, lives and passions.

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