Theatre Review: Why the Whales Came

Yesterday Robot and I went along to The Lowry to see an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book, Why the Whales Came. This show was slightly different to many others we’ve seen in that it was performed by just one person. All characters were represented by the extremely talented Danyah Miller through accents, acting, stage props and her wonderful ability to bring a story to life.

The set was just brilliant with secret doors, flaps, and platforms and Danyah recited her adaptation brilliantly as she guided us splendidly through the tale of 1914 Cornwall. We follow 10 year old Gracie and her friend Daniel as they venture further than they’re really supposed to and meet The Birdman – someone they’ve been warned against.

Danyah Miller gives an exuberant performance as we follow the children, learn about their lives and their fears, their ambition and their personalities. You almost forget that she is just one performer as she switches so easily between the characters’ voices and mannerisms.

The show is just an hour long but within that time I laughed and even welled up with tears due to Danyah’s truly convincing character portrayals.

The show is recommended for children aged seven and over. My seven year old son was immersed in the performance, totally drawn in from the moment we started to watch. He had a couple of questions to whisper to me during the performance but other than that he remained entirely attentive throughout. The theatre was quiet too – not something that always happens during a performance for a family audience!

Why the Whales Came is on at The Lowry until this Sunday, 29th October, before moving on to Wimbledon next week. The show is produced by Wizard Presents and there is a downloadable educational resource to go alongside the performance too.

Thank you to The Lowry for inviting us to review the show. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will be looking out for Danyah in future performances.

There are some exciting performances coming up at The Lowry over the next few weeks – take a look at what’s on here.

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