A note from Maddy Costa: this review is by Lucas Murray, a visually impaired kid and keen photographer who first came across Feral in Poole when his family spotted posters for the show in the local shopping centre. Fuel had also arranged for Harry Webb, Poole’s local engagement specialist, to spend some time on the High St speaking to people about the show – which is how Lucas found out about the competition #mypoole, to make a one-minute film about the area. Lucas entered and was a brilliant finalist (you can see his film here). But he also got to have a very particular experience with the show, which is where he picks up the story. A longer version of this piece appears on Lucas’ blog, here.
By Lucas Murray
I emailed Fuel to ask for a touch tour which is when you get to go on stage before the show, and feel the set and meet the cast, because I would get a better idea of the story when I’m watching the show. They liked the idea of doing one because they had never done one before and they replied saying: “Can you come at 7.10?” We decided to dress up smart for the occasion so I wore shirt and tie and man’s perfume.
We were met by Hattie and Harry from Fuel who showed us into the studio to start the touch tour. I liked Jim the sound editor from Tortoise in a Nutshell (the theatre company) talking me through all the different sounds that are used in the show and the way he changed the pitch of his voice made me laugh! I got to feel the puppets which were made from a clay called Sculpey and when I was holding the Dawn puppet, I could move her head and pretend that she was writing something by moving the stick that was attached to her hand. The buildings were made from thick cardboard and the whole set was black and white. Lots of shops had their names changed so Lush was called Loosh, Bennets the ‘Bonnets’ Bakers was called Bonnets, the Dolphin Centre was called the Porpoise Centre. I liked learning how the different video cameras worked and how the guy used them to follow the puppets so that the pictures could be shown on the big screen. It was the first Touch tour they had ever done and I thought they were really good!
Then we went into the cinema where they were screening the finalists in the film competition. Mine was the very first film to be shown, and it felt really exciting to see it on a huge screen. After my film, the other people in the audience clapped and I felt proud. The show had really good sounds. I particularly liked the train crossing, the till, the paper ripping and the sirens. The story was about Poole park closing and a casino being built in its place. All the shops had closed and the people of Poole were very unhappy and then they were rioting. I was a bit upset that everything was destroyed. It was a very happy ending though as the Poole people started to make it look very nice again and worked together and the casino had completely closed down and all the shops had reopened. After the show, we got to come down on to the stage and take photos of the set.
[Here are some of Lucas’:]