Theatre: The Attic, The Studio, Potterrow, Edinburgh

Mary Brennan, four stars

WHAT a fabulous guddle of clutter there is in Granny’s attic! Lots of intriguing boxes and trunks, a scattering of old hats and odd balls of wool. Designer Karen Tennant has clearly been in magpie mode, sourcing the visual fabric of Granny’s memories. However there’s also a live pianist (David Paul Jones) conjuring up appropriate shifts in mood as Granny goes rummaging among the dusty remnants of her own past. His unexpected presence is, like Granny’s lapses into forgetfulness, a clue that will strike different chords with different ages in the audience.

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Grown ups will probably realise that the attic is like the inside of Granny’s head - and the unfinished knitting is an echo of the random wool-gathering that is occasioned by advancing years. Wee ones – and this Starcatchers production has 2 to 5 year olds especially in mind – will simply latch on to the attic as an adventure playground full of merry surprises, with Granny the best kind of fun-loving friend in games of make-believe. No wonder young Lucy (Hazel Darwin-Clements) loves visiting her, loves searching through the bric-a-brac to find... well, whatever it was Granny wanted to give her. You sense that dozens of little fingers would love to help open up the boxes, releasing the stuff that encourages free-wheeling imagination to take wing. Hurrah! Granny (a twinkly, endearing Gowan Calder) dotes on having tea-parties and soon everyone is joining in, with fancy cakes (superbly hand-knitted) and hats for all. There is genuine affection and a wise charm in Darwin-Clements’ script, and Heather Fulton’s direction, that draws us all into this magical attic – and wouldn’t we all love to have DPJ’s piano-playing as the backdrop to our own lives!