BTR - Reviews of Albee Vector the Sound Collector

Albee Vector the Sound Collector

Sun 3rd – Sat 23rd August 2014

reviews

David Harris

at 20:03 on 5th Aug 2014

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To borrow an incredibly clichéd phrase, Albee Vector the Sound Collector truly is fun for all ages.

Of course, almost any child can be expected to make silly noises on command. Unsurprisingly, the request for the audience to all blow a raspberry was met with particular success. But there is a lot more than that to this show, including a plot drawing on Homer’s Odyssey, an excellent sense of humour, and a variety of characters all played by Sam Woolf (Albee) and Kate Cavendish (Andromeda).

Younger viewers will of course not realise this, but the off-stage workings of this show are as challenging as the on-stage. Sound effects are required whenever Woolf or Cavendish open a jar, and they are delivered with perfect timing on almost every occasion. In the relatively rare event that noises are slightly late, it is brushed off very well by the pair, who deal with this and the children in the audience with a brilliantly positive attitude.

On a more sophisticated level, the pair portray a number of characters through the use of different accents and mannerisms, and do this to great effect. Leaping around the stage, having dialogues with themselves, they switch between personas effortlessly. It is well-choreographed, easy to follow, and entertaining. There is also plenty of fast-paced humour and wit, which is amusing in its own right; these are not compliments that need to be supplemented with “for a kids’ show”.

The play is performed in a restaurant a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile, with seats crammed in tight to enable a large capacity whilst maintaining enough space for the actors; there are still not excessive amounts of room, but they use every inch. Despite the amount of seating, there was only standing room available for this reviewer and my colleague, so I would definitely advise getting there early.

It would perhaps have been nice to see more audience participation – or at least have it more consistently throughout the show, as the vast majority happens right at the beginning. But this is still a fun, engaging, and accomplished performance, which you will enjoy as much as your children.

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Ellie Taylor

at 09:04 on 6th Aug 2014

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This may have been a show aimed at children, but I am unashamed to say that I enjoyed going to see Albee Vector and the Sound Collector. Brought to us by Sam Woolf and Sadie Spencer, the simple but excellent premise is of duo Albee and Andromeda travelling the world together and collecting various wacky sounds inside jars. Naturally, their sidekick is a sound-hoover named Mustard. Played by Sam Woolf and Sadie Spencer, Albee and Andromeda are enthusiastic and great at interacting with the children in the audience.

Albee and Andromeda opt to tell the audience a story, brought more potently to life through the assistance of the sound jars. We are taken on Albee’s quest to save the captive Andromeda - an adventure that consists of sea travel, mythical creatures and a heart-warming final message. The performance does what all good children’s shows should: it stimulates the imagination and concludes with a strong moral message.

For me, a personal highlight was the slight rip off of Homer’s Odyssey, in which Albee and some new friends get trapped inside the cave of a Cyclops, blind him, and run off only to discover the sirens and their lovely but deceptive song. Maybe I’m getting a bit profound about a children’s show, but the best adventure stories start with a little bit of Homer.

The most important aspect of the show, sound, is managed well. The sound cues are prompt and in time with the performers, which makes for a more smoothly running and convincing show. As well as the ears, the eyes are also pleased by the set and costumes, which were suitably wacky. Props are used cleverly: I have never seen a crow fashioned out of an umbrella before.

From a child’s perspective, there is nothing that this show does not have. It is an imaginative, colourful, interactive show that holds their rapt attention for just under an hour. From an adult’s perspective, the show is free, close to the royal mile, and has a good chance of making them laugh too.

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