BEOWULF written by Jesper la Cour Andersen, with Andersen and Troels Kirk Ejsing. Presented by the Telling Theatre at the International Children's Festival of the Arts in the Brigantine Room (235 Queens Quay West). May 27 at 11:30 am, May 28 at 11 am and 1 pm, May 29 at 2:15 pm, May 30 at 2 and 4 pm. $9, passes $12.50-$15.50. 416-973-4000. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
This stripped-down and child-friendly version of the Old English epic Beowulf is perfect post-Lord Of The Rings fare. It's full of monsters, courageous men and plenty of stage magic. Adapted and narrated by Denmark's Jesper la Cour Andersen , the production is so evocative, you'll swear you can smell the roasted boar, taste the mead and hear the troll Grendel stomping through the thicket.
All of this is done economically. Black curtains mark off the intimate performing space, a yellow ship is indicated on the floor, and the sole prop is a tin watering can, which becomes everything from a horn to a TV camera.
Andersen and Troels Kirk Ejsing make terrific storytellers, combining horror, whimsy and broad laughs, and drawing on the audience in always inventive ways.
Note: the program says the show lasts an hour, but with audience participation it's more like 75 minutes.