WE were led to our seats by Matt Seattle’s haunting Border pipes to find three actors dressed in full-length, pea green hoodies wafting ethereally round the stage.

These are the Mammies, a parental invention planted in the minds of children to keep them away from dangerous places.

A quick bit of racing around and they turn into Katie, Shelley and Tom, who are supposed to go straight home from school.

Like most children, they end up somewhere they are not supposed to be, where they find a raven’s feather and a book that plays music when it’s opened.

The book is about saints and the class swot Shelley begins to read. “Boring saints.” says Katie, “let’s play hide and seek.”

But when a raven steals the book, the three decide to become Cuthbert (Cuddy), Godric and Bede to retrieve it.

“We can sell it on eBay and get loads of money.” says Katie.

The story and some delightful original songs were written by Julie Ward and reminds us that saints were once children.

Cuddy picks his nose and Godric won’t share his sandwiches; an exceptional, egotistical performance from Katie Tranter. Tom Burton’s Cuddy and Raven are quite special too.

Inspired by the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels, this is great physical theatre for children and an excellent collaboration between Jack Drum Arts and Mad Alice Theatre Company.

Final words to the amazing musician and composer, Matt Seattle, whose Border pipes and acoustic guitar make a kind of mythical magic and speak raven too. Magnificent!

  • September 10, in St Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle. Call 01833-637334.
  • September 21, in The Sage, Gateshead. Call 0191-443-4661.
  • Jackdrum.co.uk