North London Food & Culture

Review: La Tempesta, Queen’s Wood

Puppets and aerial performers leap through the trees, much to the delight of the little faces staring up from this pop-up forest floor theatre

La Tempesta

As we entered the semi-darkness of Queen’s Wood, the younger ones huddled close for our initial passage past the frog pond. Signs led us deeper, until a clearing revealed many children sitting on a great tarpaulin under the ancient leafy canopy. We squeezed in amongst them. A story unfolded in the trees, moved all around us, and finally right over our heads. The tale was La Tempesta – 40 minutes of open-mouthed joy for all assembled.

A family must endure a great storm, the full wrath of the eco gods unleashed. They struggle, but their beaming smiles and plucky human spirit endure throughout. Real actors fly, dive and swim through the trees as the Scarabeus Aerial Theatre company take on one half of the tale, meanwhile, Islington big day out heroes Little Angel Theatre mirror the characters with puppet personas. The action takes place on opposing sides of a sea of enthusiastic upwardly turned faces.

It’s a simple tale (fine for a 3-year-old), with little in the way of spoken words other than calls and shrieks of pleasure. And quickly we felt very much part of the action too, as precious plant pots were saved by little helpers before a great wave engulfed everyone in a Whirligig style parachute experience.


From the exquisite location to the weightless performers, this summer production has more than a touch of the festival experience about it. Our clan loved meeting the puppets afterwards as they jumped into the audience and we all left feeling as if we’d stumbled across a remote corner of Glastonbury, just south of Muswell Hill.

Emboldened by the survivalist heroics of both puppets and aerialists, the return through the undergrowth was a much more strident affair. What’s scary about a frog pond when you know a loving family can survive a tempest?

Runs until Sunday 18th Aug, tickets via Jackson’s Lane website

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

About Kentishtowner

The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.