Building to an encounter with one of the wolves of winter, Solstice, is a 15-25 minute immersive trail for children under 5 – and their parents and guardians – through five rooms of Battersea Arts Centre. The rooms are themed on the four seasons, each containing seasonal flora and fauna (albeit few in number) enhanced by modest lighting and sound effects which, together with Punchdrunk-style décor, make Autumn and particularly Winter genuinely atmospheric. While the four-year-old who accompanied this reviewer was initially fearful of the darker spaces, he was quickly won over by the performances of George the Storyteller and the anonymous puppeteers who bring the wolf to life; and he loved the final play space where there is an opportunity to create seasonal imagery of their own.
Solstice is a co-production between BAC and Wild Rumpus and, given the promises in the marketing material, feels a little underwhelming. By no stretch of the imagination does the trail amount to a “winter wonderland” and the IKEA-style route through five rooms is far from being a “journey through the maze of Battersea Arts Centre’s corridors and hidden spaces [with] magical creatures at every turn”. Nonetheless, aside of this, there is much in Solstice for children between 2 and 5 years old to enjoy.
Review by Louis Mazzini
Solstice is a brand new immersive trail through the seasons, with magical creatures and a festive adventure for all the family.
Under the light of the moon, you will move through a winter wonderland where animals are hibernating and people are tucked away in their cosy houses. Journey through the maze of Battersea Arts Centre’s corridors and hidden spaces, and discover magical creatures at every turn, as they guide you through the crisp new beginnings of spring, the colour explosion of summer and the bountiful harvest of autumn.
This enchanting new light-trail marks the first collaboration between BAC and Wild Rumpus, an award-winning immersive events company that focus on nature connectedness, collective wonder and the power of play.
Battersea Arts Centre and Wild Rumpus
1 – 24 December 2024