CHILDREN’S SHOWS – VIKING at Underbelly Bristo Square

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Who better to review kids shows than a kid?

Deadline at the Fringe’s youngest reviewer, 6-year-old Gus, is out with his Dad Paul (42) to give their say on this years Edinburgh Festival Fringe acts.

Photo: Heather Murray

[star rating =5/5]

JOURNEY with Ragnarr Ragnarrson as he navigates fjords, marshes and mountains in search of treasure and, ultimately, purpose.

This charming adventure story about the power of friendship earned through bravery and kindness won our hearts.

Arriving in the small theatre at the Underbelly Bristo Square, a map waits for us on our seat so we know we’ll be going somewhere.

We get comfortable while an ABBA background soundtrack sets a tongue in cheek tone that has the adults grinning while children examine their maps and we wait for the show to start.

Suddenly the cast bound on stage and a brief welcome gives way to a story that captivates us from start to finish.

Photo: Heather Murray

We’re in Placetown, a small Viking settlement on the coast.

It’s time for a new Village Skald – a teller of stories, keeper of history, composer of poems.

Ragnarr’s our man but to earn the part he must prove his worth. A weakling, odd fit and already out of place in a Viking village, Ragnarr feels music and stories within and so sets out to become the greatest Skald ever know.

Minimal props keep the already simple space uncluttered, leaving room for a small cast to fill the stage with character and charm.

The show is entirely original yet pulls knowingly and with wisdom on familiar storytelling tropes we love.

Battles, storms, mountains and mystery twist through Flora Wilson Brown’s enchanting, joyful script providing hooks to a moral tale of finding one’s true self.

There’s a powerful nostalgia to the writing that puts me in mind of a bashed and worn VHS played endlessly over Christmas holidays.

It’s not difficult to imagine this as a cherished animated film, a perennial family favourite that gets played for the adults as much as the kids.

“Be kind and clever and you have to look both ways before you cross a sheep field” – Gus (age 6)