Theatre review: The Tear Thief at Little Angel Theatre

Father and daughter Peter, 44, and Emily, 9, both review the latest show at the Little Angel Theatre

�“Your tears are more precious than diamonds...” chimney to chimney the tear thief listens, searching for sobbing children. Their tears will make the moon shine.

Controlling puppets, two girls conjure up a magical show based on a book by Carol Ann Duffy. In the corner, a man plays cello, violin and harmonica in a spooky, mysterious way. Classic songs are used, such as: Fly me to the Moon, Peter and the Wolf and Twinkle Twinkle.

The house of a girl whining for chocolate, twins fighting over a teddy, a boy with his finger stuck in a recorder, the tear thief goes around saving every drop, she has plenty.

She grabs her silvery sack, observing each glimmering tear: rage are red glowing like rubies, jealousy are green emeralds, self-pity turquoise, scared are white like moonstones, guilty are amber. Then the tear thief spots a weeping child with the most valuable tears of all – true melancholy.

Beautiful hand-made puppets, carefully manoeuvred, original music, the tear thief will steal your sadness and haunt you.

Emily Medina Kennedy (aged 9)

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�Lachrymose is the theme for this Little Angel production and I confess that by the end there was something in my eye - the glint of a forty-something overwhelmed by nostalgia for the home-spun, hand-crafted children’s TV shows of the 70s.

To The Tear Thief’s laudable credentials - Carol Ann Duffy’s text, Juliet Stevenson’s narration - the Little Angel team add their own blend of magic and whimsy, evocative to those who recall Bagpuss, Fingerbobs and Noggin the Nog.

James Hesford’s mournful cello, violin and lament-laden harmonica are allied to pre-recorded sounds to provide a suitably melancholic backdrop; rudimentary rooftop sets are enlivened by exquisitely crafted and deftly, delightfully handled marionettes, and the results are suffused with a life-affirming sadness that brings a tear to the eye but a smile to your day.

Peter Kennedy (aged 44 and three quarters)

* The Tear Thief is at the Little Angel Theatre in Dagmar Terrace, N1, until November 4.