Adapted from the much loved book by Jacqueline Wilson, The Suitcase Kid is a new production from the Emanuel Theatre company. As a huge fan of the books years ago, this production hit the right notes in producing a true representation of Andy’s story.
Told through an alphabet, right from the beginning, The Suitcase Kid deals with the divorce of Andy’s parents and the big dilemma over what will happen to Andy and her much loved sylvanian family toy, Radish. As her parents bicker, and her newly acquired step brothers and sisters adjust to somebody new living with them, Andy takes off and escapes to play in a nearby garden to get away from it all. With elements of puppetry, song and bold costumes more than enough to brighten up the black box theatre, the performance throws the audience into a world where VHS tape boxes are boats and orange jelly is unconventionally made from scratch.
Tackling a brave subject matter, the piece is well directed on the whole, although some of the songs could be slightly more convincing. There are too many in the ensemble and the scenes with a lot of them onstage are overcrowded in the space, however, Hermione Leitch as Andy really shines as her natural ability has the audience completely on her side as she gets batted from one house to the other.
With a relatable leading character, this well told performance carefully proves that everyone has a suitcase, it’s just that you own case fits you the best. A sure hit for any Jacqueline Wilson fans, as her tale comes to life in a colourful, engaging production.
The Suitcase Kid | theSpace @ Niddry Street | 14:25