Valentina’s Galaxy

Valentina’s Galaxy 

Royal Botanical Garden

This show takes as its starting point the first woman in space in 1963 – a Russian cosmonaut named Valentina. Which was probably news to much of the adult audience, let alone the kids. Actually it could be considered to be as much about the power of the imagination and a lesson in how to dream.

The show is set in a beautifully colourful kitchen, set with an equally colourful young lady. She seems to be very excited over a party she is throwing and while she is waiting for her guests she tells us about the first woman in space and shows us real footage on her 60s style TV. One by one her guests phone and cancel and it is then that her imaginary friend, the cosmonaut and dancer Maria, becomes more than imaginary. Maria joins the room in a dramatic way, from behind a chair whilst the girl’s back is turned, and soon disappears, but slowly becomes part of the action, returning to dance with the girl, take her to the moon and assuage her loneliness perhaps.

Though the story itself is a bit disjointed or non existent, it doesn’t really matter, as the music, set and props are so imaginative and beautiful. Surprises like smoke coming out the oven where burnt muffins transpire as meteorites and later a beautiful moment when Maria plucks the moon from the washing machine and dances through the crowd with it, more than make up for gaps in the plotline.

Always hard to know how much the little ones take from these shows but my 3 year old reviewer ‘liked the lady going to the moon’ so she clearly picked up on this positive message.

(Katch Holmes)

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