BWW Review: Sweet Fairytale from New Alchemists' EATEN VOICES

Adam Michael Canne and Fortuna Gebresellassie in
Eaten Voices
Photo credit: Issa Luckett

Sometimes we forget with all the flashy shows out there what can be done with a minimal bit of stage wizardry and a whole lot of talent. But then a new company comes along just starting out and they remind us. The New Alchemists may be brand new and small but they know how to tell a good little story with their first production, "Eaten Voices".

Written by Lavinia Roberts with music by Ahmed Alabaca we meet Leona (Fortuna Gebresellassie), a young girl trapped in night. She's journeying through night trying to make her way back to day when she meets the wandering Moonchild (Adam Michael Canne) and his friend Moth (Alfonso Campos). The three traverse night together trying to help Leona get back, meeting several creatures along the way including the dark and mysterious Mother and Raven (Carrie Ivory and Nicole Merat).

It's not an overly complex story; in fact it's not even very long at under an hour. But it's got tons of heart and sweetness to itself. Plus, beyond the surface fable it has an underlying message resonant with so many today. Director Lily Raabe brings out the flow and stakes for the characters wonderfully and the music from Alabaca lends a beautiful air of the ethereal to the mood.

Now with a travelling story such as this the New Alchemists did a very smart thing with staging it outside over at Camp Long in West Seattle including one evening around a fire pit. Unfortunately when I saw it the Seattle weather did not want to cooperate and so we were forced into an indoor, makeshift venue but that didn't stop the lovely storytelling and dedication to the piece.

Gebresellassie as the main protagonist of the story keeps her goals and focus ever present in the piece. Canne turns in a fantastic performance as a sweet and adorable lost hero. Campos is super fun as the flitting helpful Moth. Ivory and Merat make for superb malevolent obstacles to our heroes. And the rest of the ensemble lend some wonderful physicality to the denizens of night.

No, it's not going to change your world but it will give you a sweet little sigh at the end. The New Alchemists have brought a lovely little fable to life with heart and depth and so with my three letter rating system I give them a sweet little YAY for their sweet little play. Just shows what the little guys can do sometimes.

"Eaten Voices" performs at Camp Long through August 30th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.thenewalchemists.org.

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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