EIF 2023: The Lost Lending Library, Church Hill Theatre, Review

Submitted by Erin Roche on Tue, 29 Aug '23 10.55pm
The Lost Lending Library (2023), Church Hill Theatre
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Punchdrunk Enrichment
Mia Jerome (Writer and Director), Peter Higgin (Co-Direction, Creator and Original Writer/Director), Kate Rigby (Original Designer), Casey-Jay Andrews (Associate Designer),
Joanne Skapinker (Dramaturg), Alice Kitty Devlin (Creative Development), Stephen Dobbie (Sound Design), Rosalind Sydney (Resident Director)
Simon Maeder, Hayley Muirhead, Delvene Pitt
Running time

The most delightful immersive show for children of all ages (but recommended for primary school children of ages 6 - 11 and their parents or carers) presents itself this festival season in The Lost Lending Library

This “living” library of dreams is 314 floors high and boasts 78 side departments. It jumps around the globe, collecting story after story, especially those stories written by young people with grand imaginations. 

We all gathered in the foyer of the Churchill Theatre, expectedly awaiting the start of the show, the children buzzing with excitement before the librarian greets us and guides us to this incomprehensible library. She pulls back the curtain and then…oh no! The library has gone and it needs a new story drummed up in order to entice it back.

Taking different objects for inspiration, the children among us choose protagonist, plot, setting, mystery, obstacle and more, joining together to improvisationally create a story of their very own. Adults marvel at their little imaginations sparking and it’s a joy for us, too. 

When the library is finally found, the real magic sets in; we all have our childlike wonder captivated as we step through an old and incredibly detailed room packed with shelves of books and knick knacks and miniature scenes piled in every molecule of the room in typical epic Punchdrunk Enrichment fashion. 

The guardian of this Miscellaneous Department tells us a story about a train and then one really roars to life in and around the books. More magic ensues as doors open to mystical worlds. 

A truly magical experience for all!

Please note, all adults must be accompanied by a child. This event is recommended for children aged 6–11.

The performance involves journeying around the venue. At some points, children will be seated on the floor. Limited seating for adults will be available for those who need it.

Babes in arms can be admitted without a ticket. However, please be aware there is a moment in the experience where you will need to crawl or crouch down to get through, although there is also an accessible route round for those who require it. There is space to park your pram at Church Hill Theatre.

There is no re-admittance after 20 minutes.

Ticket prices and times varied; 3-27 Aug 2023