Entering via a darkened corridor we emerge into a magical garden festooned with lanterns and umbrellas and featuring a blue mini-pool complete with deckchairs. Pixies and elves greet us and dance with the children. We have entered Belt Up Theatreâ€™s mysterious world of Cornish folklore and legend, where young Princess Octavia (charmingly played by Veronica Hare) finding her land beset by war, travels far and wide to restore peace and end centuries-old enmities.
Narrated by the bizarrely-garbed Mr. and Mrs. Heinzel (played surreal-style by Dan Wood and Sarah Gordon) assisted by sundry hobgoblins and sprites â€“ and children and grown-ups who suddenly find themselves in the action â€“ Octaviaâ€™s epic unfolds enthrallingly amid the castles, forests and islands of Kernow and Lyonesse, and the â€˜lands beyondâ€™ the Wall she must breach to achieve peace. After encountering the White Witch of the Sea, she marries the Prince of the â€˜lands beyondâ€™, finally saving his life and the new peace by giving her own.
This very imaginative piece of dramatic interactive story-telling, imaging the light and dark of ancient Celtic legends re-told with poetic flourish by Jethro Compton, and acted with zestful professionalism amid a fantasy set, enfolds the family audience with non-stop enchantment.