The Lost Lending Library, Bernie Grant Arts Centre

by Tom Brocklehurst

Celebrated immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, currently performing across town to grown-ups in The Burnt City, prove that they have the capability to engage and enchant a younger audience as well through their educational arm, Punchdrunk Enrichment. All tickets are pay-what-you-can so it’s a brilliant incentive that allows access to families who might not otherwise be able to afford a family Christmas show across most of London.

At Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, the magical Lost Lending Library has arrived in the building. We meet a lost librarian, locked out of the library as the door closed behind him, and then vanished. There is hope, though. Amazingly, the library can sense where there are great imaginations nearby, so what we need to do is come up with a story, and then maybe we’ll get back inside.

From start to finish, this show is an enchanting, engaging experience for children aged 6-10. The actors are charming and talented improvisers, and the set design has all of the company’s trademark, awe-inducing detail. Best of all, it’s about inspiring children to read and write stories. And crucially, efforts are made to reward the children who don’t like reading as well as those who do. 

Punchdrunk Enrichment succeeds with this show: it’s a little piece of magic!

The Lost Lending Library runs through 23 December.

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