“Originally conceived for children A TOUCH OF LIGHT kept the adults fascinated by the magic of the animation and reassured by the modesty of the direction. One speaks of a “small miracle” in relation to this third spectacle by the Israeli company. It is a magical show of lights and shadows that cast light on the life of an amazing child. It is as well an important show both in its artistic level and on the level of its contents and meaning” Francoise Gourbeyre, director of the Nouveau Espace Culturel de Saint-Priest-en-Jarez.”
Le Mensuel de la Culture en Rhone-Alps. December 1999. (25) by J. Balsamo.
“….Patricia O’Donovan playwright, director and performer of a show that tells children the life of Louis Braille. From a story that tells about his hardships and pains she eliminated all pathos, all tearful compassion. A kind of theatrical asceticism, A TOUCH OF LIGHT is practically anti spectacular. A lesson in minimalism that succeeds in touching the children and often making them laugh to tears. Sitting crossed legged next to a sand box, on a podium that makes her stage, Patricia O’Donovan animates small silhouettes in white paper lined out in black ink. And she plays, like a child and like an actress, giving life to those allusive representations of bodies which become, in an amusing classroom scene: the uproar, the teacher in a grey coat and shrill voice, the bells that rings for recess, the joyful scattering of the children in the courtyard ,the solitude of little Louis, sitting in his bench during the recess, everything is there, contained within a handful of pencils planted in the sand.
The other element in this top quality performance that unfolds under the eyes of the spectators is the light: a few candles and a simple table lamp. She illuminates the most delicate scenes: the accident that causes Louis’ blindness, told modestly by the use of shadows, next the child’s progressive sinking into the night, expressed by two little candles that are blown out, seen through the eyes of a paper mask. That simple.
Le Monde. Weekly Aden. Paris 21-27 Avril 99 V.C.
” By comparison Patricia O’Donovan of AMBULO company displays weightless magic with the story named A TOUCH OF LIGHT, written and played by herself. The stage is a sand box. Patricia O’Donovan crouches in it, lights a candle, moves small walls, builds houses, schools and puts them aside. She lets shadows grow and moves around mysteriously, holds figures in her hand- as light as a feather, flat, cut out from paper like material, with molded small heads. The narrator brings it into play and into life, often for a few moments only and then lays it to rest again. The secret of magic awakening and disappearance grows from the reality of the acting persons, who are materially real and, at the same time , sheerest products of fantasy……O’Donovan tells her story calmly (and in German), without any sentimentality, almost in a matter-of-fact way. But touching fantasy and warm hearted humor live in the gentle , tender handling of the paper creatures……A small electric light, a couple of candles illuminate this adventure of playful simplicity. A TOUCH OF LIGHT –this was something of a wonder in the crazy world of technology.
Kristoph Funke. Children and Young people’s Theater. Theater Heute, 6/97.
“…..one takes special pleasure in the charm, the fantasy and the joy of performing which reached their height with Patricia O’Donovan of Jerusalem who told, using simple paper figures and pencils how the blind young Louis Braille at the age of fifteen, invented the Braille system .A TOUCH OF LIGHT, the title of the play, was translated as A GLIMMER OF LIGHT in the German program. How true!!! “.
Sabine Leucht. Die Tageszeitung. Berlin, 03-04/05/97
“….a miracle is the third Israeli contribution, the play (A TOUCH OF LIGHT) by Patricia O’Donovan (Ambulo company / Train Theater, Jerusalem.) With white and black, paper thin figures before and behind candles-and modest spotlights. It is as if a child in the small sandbox proceeds with the creation of worlds. People, animals, plants appear, cast shadows, are mysteriously carried away and, at the same time, remain tangibly real in the form of flat, vulnerable paper figures ……..Gently, though without any sentimentality, the actress plays episodes of his lifespan, which is presented in German in this guest performance. It is touching how she handles the delicate figures lovingly, gives them life , frequently for a few moments only, and how every event becomes sensory by magical inventions and the simplest means: once a tiny knight’s castle burns in a gun battle,…..The spectators were spellbound”
Kristof Funke. Der Tagesspiel. Berlin, 03/05/97
“…what can one do and say when one is asked to write a few lines about a show that leaves one speechless. What can one say about fifty minutes of pleasure that leave the children filled with wonder and the adults amazed? The words preclude the magic of the show which made out of very simple means, allows the spectators’ imagination to explode and to talk about the ineffable.”
A.L. Fonbaustier. Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace, 03/06/02 ” A TOUCH OF LIGHT
” ” A TOUCH OF LIGHT...a one woman piece……is a moving experience which strikes the chords of the heart and soul………Her ideas are ingenious….but most of all Patricia performs with true love and commitment to her art and to the story she tells………The applause echoes the heart as the lights go out-we are yet to return to the real world!” Lisa Cameron. Youth Performing Arts in Australia, 8/97
“No pathos in this story, but imagination, precision, humor. To make the spectators, adults and children alike, penetrate the solitude of those whom our hypocritical end of the century calls the visually impaired is not anyone’s guess in advance. The Ambulo company took it as its matter of concern, and won.”
Laurent Perez. La Marseillaise/
“….she manages for one hour to captivate both children and adults so that they could not but give her-for this meaningful accomplishment- a thundering applause and cries of enthusiasm. So much excitement for this extraordinary and highly artistic performance was never enough.”
Helmuth Hilgers. Grez Echo. St.Vith, 14/10/97
“The children are seated in absolute silence. Not because of a horrifying event on stage but actually because of the calm and poetic way the experience of becoming blind is presented…There are so many engaging subjects to talk about with the children about this show-about heroism, the marks of a hero, curiosity and the thirst of knowledge, and about creative thinking. A torrent of questions is a marvelous sign. It is a sign that something penetrated the layer of daily life, moved something in all of us spectators, made us feel excited and ponder. All what a first class show can do”.
Shirly Yuval- Yair. Idiot Ajaronot. 11.05.09
Ynet. Full article in Hebrew: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3713393,00.html
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