Review: The Bookbinder

The Bookbinder. Pic: Stephen Coulter
The Bookbinder. Pic: Stephen Coulter
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ALL the way from a back room in a tiny book shop in Wellington, New Zealand, comes The Bookbinder, a charmingly exquisite children’s show that kept this adult entranced for the full 50 minutes.

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Assemby, Roxburgh Place

Using little more than a lamp, a gramophone, a wondrous book and a handful of miniature puppets, Ralph McCubbin Howell tells his captivated audience the tale of the bookbinder’s new apprentice who tried to cut corners on a binding job for the mysterious pale-eyed lady who visited their struggling shop one day.

In an endeavour to make amends (as “bookbinders should never cut corners – unless they actually need to cut corners on a book”), the apprentice embarks on an amazing adventure to complete a sinister quest.

This is a gorgeous production. Inventive, absorbing – even for the smallest children – and it has a message: ultimately reminding us that promises should be honoured.

A love letter to books and a tribute to their ability to transport you somewhere else altogether, this is a timely show for an often disappointingly digital age.

Until August 31