2016

Jungle Book | UK Tour

‘Visually stunning…From the very start the audience knew we were in for something a bit special…striking lighting…Jaw dropping…Atmospheric…This is a superb production from a highly-skilled and talented company who have created a refreshing new slant on this endearing tale.’ ★★★★★ Express and Echo

‘Gloriously comic…The cast, rich in edgy dance and circus experience, are remarkable. Especially young Natalie’s Mowgli, whose lithe red-clad figure will stay in my mind’s eye a fair while : leaping, rolling, somersaulting, trapezing, clambering up the skewed lamp-posts of the set, duetting on an aerial hoop with Natalie Alison as the most graceful of vultures….Fabulous… Marvellous dancing…every move serves the theatrical narrative.’ ★★★★ Theatre Cat, Libby Purves

‘Stunning…a remarkable experience to watch such talented and energetic performers…deeply moving…eloquently presented…effective staging and imaginative lighting…astonishing dancing…mesmerising…terrific soundtrack…ingenious costumes and puppetry… extraordinary.’ ★★★★Remote Goat

‘At last: a show for young teenagers that doesn’t talk down to them. Metta Theatre’s Jungle Book has appeal for all ages, but its refreshing mix of hip-hop, circus, rap and street dance seems sure to be a hit with the 9-14 age group. The production loses no time in exploding into life, introducing a vibrant cast of characters…For all its astonishing choreography, the show feels like it has been created with the public in mind – it is for everyone. It speaks unashamedly of the poverty, gangs and fear in urban life, while welcoming its whole audience into the bonds of friendship uniting Mowgli with her jungle family. The cast is universally talented, but eager to share the stage with young performers: the wolf pack are played by local dancers, trained up by the company… truly breath-taking. Watching a friendship develop between Mowgli and homeless girl Vee the Vulture (Natalie Layton-McIntosh) on a spinning hoop, their balances and tricks becoming more and more spectacular as their mutual trust blooms, the audience is captivated. Young trapeze artist Layton-McIntosh also steals the show as the hypnotic serpent Kaa, twisting and tumbling around a streetlight and drawing collective gasps from the audience with her death-defying stunts…It is difficult to choose a highlight, but Shere Khan’s capture by the police is perhaps the most affecting part of the show. Close to the ground, he struggles with powerful staccato moves against impossible odds. Defeated but not broken, shoulders rippling like a caged tiger, Shere Khan whispers his true story.’ ★★★★ Reviews Hub

‘Impressively acrobatic…Kaa coils up and down a lamppost, sometimes breathtakingly shooting downwards….Shere Khan is startlingly moving…engrossing.’ The Times

‘Highlights here are Matt Knight’s breakdancing Akela and Nathalie Alison’s pole-dancing Kaa…The acrobatic skills are impressive, the choreography inventive.’ The Stage

‘Vibrant, colourful and joyous…a glorious fusion of dance, storytelling, circus and hip hop theatre…The company’s dance and circus skills are to be admired. The stunning red flower scene together with magical work on a suspended ring by Natalie Nicole James and Nathalie Alison as the vulture is both skilful and graceful and deserved the spontaneous audience applause. William Reynolds’s design of angled streetlights and striking lighting is most impressive and adds a further dramatic dimension to the performance. Director Poppy Burton-Morgan’s assured inventive direction is a delight and keeps the pace flowing throughout.’ British Theatre Guide

‘Breathtakingly beautiful…excellent…extraordinary dance and circus skills…it’s great to see a cast that actually reflects the population of the UK in terms of gender and race up on stage…  It’s great to see a young, talented, multi-racial cast on stage showing the highest levels of skill in circus and dance. And it’s really good to see so many strong, talented women leading the way in new UK theatre.’ The F Word

‘The shared aerial duet between Mowgli and Vee is a delight, as is the section where Mowgli is taught the languages of the other animals by Baloo and Bagheera. Kloe Dean, and Matt Knight are highly skilled and – most importantly – extremely watchable as (respectively) Bagheera and Akela. Nathalie Alison (Kaa and Vee) is also very good; as confident in the air as she is seductive on the ground. Natalie Nicole James (Mowgli) performs many styles admirably (from commercial to jazz to street to ballet), as well as various tricks and tumbles. She also performs some beautiful aerial work, and – most importantly – performs with a charm and focus that makes us care.’ Afridiziak

‘Combining street dance, rap and circus with banging beats it’s a bold and fast paced show that cleverly weaves the threads of the original into something new whilst adding a little social commentary (‘the suits’ portrayed almost as automatons and the obvious issue of inner city gang culture for instance) into the mix. mighty impressive physical displays…instantly engaging… Beautiful…Brave…expertly directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan Jungle Book’s an invigorating, hip (hop) and smart adaptation that’s littered with lovely subtle touches (Baloo’s broom as a mic stand, his interaction with the audience after the interval and some simple but very effective puppetry behind the baby Mowgli). Trust me on this one, you ‘Khan’t’ afford to miss it.’ The Hearing Aid

‘The skill of the dancers was fantastic, the moves perfectly fitting to the animal that they were playing.  Baloo the bear had soft and cuter moves, whilst Kaa the snake slid across the floor and to the top of the lamppost like it was second nature.  Truly amazing… a faultless performance.  Every move was executed to perfection… a joy to watch.  Metta Theatre have produced a very contemporary show, with a fusion of dance styles to enjoy.’ Life Magazine

‘Breathtaking… brilliantly choreographed… Music also played a massive role and the show’s composer and sound designer Filipe Gomes did a fantastic job in creating the perfect soundtrack to summarise each character… One of my favourite parts was a pole dancing sequence from Kaa the snake (Nathalie Alison). Not only did the fluid flow of her body work well to showcase Kaa’s hypnotic but deadly persona, but it also highlighted pole dancing as an art form.’ Slough Observer

‘Mowgli, beautifully performed by Natalie Nicole James, wears red throughout, a bright beacon from whom its hard to tear your gaze…the production is stunning, from the skateboarding feats to the funny tricks of Baloo (Stefan Puxon) to a touching duet on a circus hoop… The lithe and seductive solo by Kaa (Nathalie Alison) brought the house down.’ Maidenhead Advertiser

‘An incredibly visionary interpretation of the Rudyard Kipling classic…very impressive dancing… incredible circus and acrobatic skills… highly entertaining and a brave interpretation of a classic tale. Not many people would have the guts of director Poppy Burton-Morgan and choreographer Kendra J Horsburgh to take such a well-loved story and turn it completely on its head. Literally.’ Muddy Stilettos

‘Radical interpretation…visually stunning…a real joy to behold…poignant…awe inspiring.’ Families Online

 


2015

Mouthful | Trafalgar Studio 2, London

‘stirring and moving…one of the most riveting conversations I have ever had the privilege of seeing unravel on stage… mesmerising…sophisticated projections and technological wizardry ….a masterclass in collaboration, positively stretching the boundaries of what theatre can achieve’ ★★★★★ London Theatre1

‘Poppy Burton-Morgan’s punchy production pulls out all the stops…William Reynold’s slick, textured design…Pedro Miguel Rozo’s Organica kicks us off to a strong start… Clare Bayley’s The Protectors is a knock-out, five-star dystopia… Heartbreaking… Turned, by Inua Ellams, has to be seen to be believed. Make sure you do.’ ★★★★ The Times

‘astonishing… affecting…slick’ ★★★★ Londonist

‘impressive…visual delights…sparky’ What’s On Stage

‘hard-hitting enough to strike the audience into stillness, played with a beauty and sensitivity to match…tense, exciting and, at times, heart-warming… horrifically mesmerising… triumphant acting…’ A Younger Theatre

‘charmingly serves up food for thought…beautifully realised’ Arts Desk

The King of Tiny Things | UK Tour

‘fantastic…great singing, scintillating puppetry and skilful circus.’ ★★★★ Parenting Without Tears

‘a gentle, graceful performance…exciting’ ★★★★ Theatre Bubble, Verity Healey

‘There’s plenty to charm here’ The Guardian, Lyn Gardner

‘beautiful…gorgeously handled…talented ensemble…free-wheeling inventiveness…effortlessly charming’ Exeunt, Stewart Pringle

‘excellent juggling and superb balancing…a colourful delight’ West End Wilma, Ed Nightingale

‘the colourful set, clever lighting and imaginative costumes and puppetry captivate the children. …full of energy…impressive’ A Younger Theatre, Franciska Ery

‘delightful…a testament to the power of imagination…enchanting show for the whole family to enjoy’ London Theatre 1, Stephanie Caiger-Watson

Cosi fan tutte | New Theatre, Oxford

‘captivating… a triumph… genuinely heart-warming’ Oxford Times

‘an uplifting and refreshing performance…skilful acting…The vocal performances of the artists were wonderfully strong, with wit injected into every syllable’ Oxford Culture Review


Alice | V&A and UK tour

‘Metta Theatre are creating a little bit of magic…Mandy Travis is a delight…beautiful puppetry…stunning use of object manipulation…transforming the ordinary to the remarkable…poignant and bewitchingly magical.’ ★★★★ Mary Halton in Exeunt

‘Extraordinary…both magical and a little disturbing…brilliantly designed… this brief hour will stay with me for a long time, the sadness and strangeness echoing.’ ★★★★ Libby Purves in Theatre Cat

‘Charming and imaginative, Alice intriguingly portrays the madness of war alongside the madness of
imaginations.’ ★★★★ Intermission Bristol

‘magical and moving…atmospheric and poignant’ Natasha Tripney in The Stage

‘Almost unbearably moving…Jack Parker’s Captain Hargreaves is the perfect posh-voiced son and soldier and Mandy Travis just amazing as Alice with a vocal range that is astounding. Poppy Burton-Morgan has made something very special in this Alice, brought together with the help of William Reynolds’ design and lighting, the puppetry design of Yvonne Stone and a carefully matched sound score and some lovely music by Filipe Gomes.’ Howard Loxton in British Theatre Guide

‘both poignant and playful… The production can be measured by its success at exploring issues from warfare to madness through the seemingly innocent and fantastical medium of puppetry.’ Bristol 247

‘a production which confidently straddles light and dark, innocence and experience…sophisticated and intelligent storytelling…imaginatively re-defining what conventional puppetry looks like…Metta Theatre are experts at storytelling, carefully constructing an atmosphere in which shifts in tone can glide into one another, taking the audience on a journey which feels bespoke.’
Tutku Barbaros in The F-Word

‘charming and inventive…Poppy Burton-Morgan combines the surreal fantasy world created by Carroll with the real-life stories of Alice and Alan Hargreaves to great effect…an imaginative, enchanting piece of theatre that is highly recommended.’
Anna Micham in Western Morning News

‘excellent acting…incredible puppetry…The beauty of the puppetry is that it seems so spontaneous…Alice is a delightfully original adaptation of a well-known classic that will impress fans of historical dramas, children’s literature and everything in between.’
Melissa Taylor in In Suffolk

‘intriguing…tender…a thought-provoking tale’ Lesley Anslow in The Bury Free Press

2014


Well | Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

‘three dancers, haunting sounds and heart stopping acrobatic feats created a stunning and poignant piece of theatre…mesmerizing…amazing. Poppy Burton-Morgan, director, has not only produced a piece of work that is artistically stunning, it is also relevant to today and reminds us that even the best placed motives can unleash a disaster.’
The Bury Free Press

‘a triumph…the unique production, which featured spectacular acrobatics using a rope, a dangling hoop and flowing red cloth, was portrayed by Leyla Rees, Lindsey Butcher and choreographer Shreya Kumar, with skill, dexterity and poise…dazzling… fantastic…poignant.’
East Anglia Daily Times

Monkey & Crocodile | Greenwich & Docklands International Festival & Site-responsive UK tour (Eg

‘utterly irresistible …an enchanting mix of music, circus skills, story-telling and apples…brilliant physicality…genuinely touching. You’d have to be a right old grumpy crocodile not to leave with a smile on your face.’
★★★★ Stewart Pringle in Exeunt

2013


Arab Nights | Soho Theatre & UK Tour

‘exquisite…impressive… the physical wit and economical elegance carry you on into empathy, beyond the daily horror of the headlines.’
★★★★ Libby Purves in The Times

‘Visually inventive… immensely striking… Poppy Burton-Morgan’s production skilfully uses everything from puppetry to hi tech’
Michael Billington in The Guardian

‘an exceptional melding of myth and modern protest…Arab Nights is an unequivocal achievement. With its exciting treatment of current events, its ingenious use of The Arabian Nights’ original qualities and its beautiful acting, it offers an experience at once magical and profound.’
Spoonfed

2012


The Man With the Flower in His Mouth | Greenwich Theatre/The London Particular

‘this delightful production is another reminder that this is a company to watch….captivating, dangerously spontaneous, and infectious with energy…Weafer and Collings breathe life into every snatch of text, thanks in part to the rich yet subtle symbolic vocabulary of gesture created under Burton-Morgan’s direction.’
Kate Maltby in The Spectator

‘Samuel Collings possesses the intensity and charisma to grasp the audience from his first moments, and with the aid of Burton-Morgan’s appropriately detailed direction, he gives a performance in which his slightest movement is filled with interest and import…with stunning performances and a setting which blends convincing immersion with a disjunctive theatricality, it’s an enthralling hour in New Cross.’
★★★★ Stewart Pringle in Whats On Stage

‘quietly exhilarating…The intimate proximity to the action, worked to create a wonderfully immersive experience… talented performances and experienced directing – a wonderful achievement.’
Carmen Nasr for Extra Extra

Otieno | Southwark Playhouse

‘thrilling immediacy… exciting. Directed with verve…Burton-Morgan’s staging immediately establishes hair-trigger tension and a disturbing sense that horrific violence has become routine… this is a highly effective, imaginative response to the classical play that both grips and stirs.’
★★★★ Sam Marlowe in The Times

‘Designer William Reynolds has put together a deceptively simple set… but it’s the use of torches – the visual equivalent of the flashes of humour in Georges’s script – that really heightens the tension…this is an astute demonstration of the ugly truth that nothing is fair in love or war.’
★★★★ Nina Caplan in Time Out (Critics’ Choice)

‘For anyone who doubts that a modern rewriting of a Shakespearean tragedy can pack the emotional and intellectual punch of its antecedent, this is the one to change your mind… Racism, betrayal, violence and destruction of body and mind are writ large but played with subtlety and authenticity. Director Poppy Burton-Morgan uses this cracking cast to great effect. The direction is smart and slick, playing with light and shadow to increase the dramatic tension.’
Katty Pearce in Fringe Review

‘The whole piece, tightly directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan for Metta Theatre is fast-paced in its minimalist staging, clever use of torches and darkness and efficient controlled explosions…exciting, moving and a compelling theatrical experience.’ 
Church Times

‘sublime…Using a minimalist setting Poppy Burton-Morgan as director has created a powerful, believable tale of love, power and revenge. The use of minimalist lighting was ingenious… Shakespeare, I think, would have been delighted.’
Susan Rogers in Southwark News

Waiting | Southbank Centre

‘…a haunting Verbatim exploration…the beautiful singing of Anna Dennis and Carole Wilson each telling further tales of womanly woe, both models of clarity as well as musical beauty. Waiting should be compulsory viewing for the politicians who have the power to invoke change.’
Philip Fisher in British Theatre Guide

‘perfect staging…absolutely superb…this must be seen!’
Vanessa Redgrave

‘…hauntingly effective. The portrayal by Simone James of Alexia, a Senegalese refugee, was as majestic and poignant as Juliet Stevenson’s portrayal of Sabah, Jamil el-Banna’s wife, was slowly intense.’
Harmit Athwal in Institute of Race Relations

2011/

2010


Blood Wedding | Southwark Playhouse

‘The whole set-up is terrifically relaxing… It’s all spirited and hugely likeable, particularly a number of blood-chillingly beautiful laments that contrast elegantly with the joyful wedding songs.’
Time Out

‘the hard-working cast (doubling up on roles and providing the music) imbue Lorca’s lines with an impressively casual chattiness; and the perplexing, surreal third act is helped by resonances of Caribbean folk tales… strong performances make this a relevant and powerful production.’
**** Siobhan Murphy in Metro

‘Strong Performances and a lively use of the audience add a visceral power to Poppy Burton-Morgan’s Caribbean-British production of Lorca’s sybolist family tragedy.’
**** Metro, Critic’s Choice

‘a text pared down to its passionate, primeval core, connects the violence of the play and its context with contemporary Britain…Director Poppy Burton-Morgan transports the action from rural Spain to a Caribbean black community and in doing so makes the tragedy compelling and immediate.’
Barbara Lewis in The Stage

‘being part of the celebrations makes it impossible not to feel engaged when it all falls apart… strong performances throughout.’
David Trennery in Arts Hub

‘Their energetic, imaginative show captures the symbolism of the original without pretension or at the expense of emotional truth…haunting and unforgettable… Metta Theatre certainly know how to capture and keep an audience’.
Katty Pearce in Fringe Review

2009


The Elephant’s Child & Just So | Trafalgar Studios

‘Jessica Dannheisser’s score is whimsical and playful… This is an intelligent, charming and endearingly rough-and-tumble bit of storytelling.’
Stephe Harrop in londontheatreblog.co.uk

 

The Elephant’s Child | Arcola Theatre

‘…a production bubbling with creative energy. Metta’s strength lies in director Poppy Burton-Morgan’s eye for the most striking of visual games. But children will be entranced most of all by the lilting soprano of Rebecca Lea, as the eponymous small elephant.’
Kate Maltby in newcultureforum.org.uk

‘The Elephants Child proved to be a delightful adaptation of Kipling’s classic fable, combining dance, song, puppetry and story telling into an effective drama to entrance both young and old.’
Serena Fenwick in musicalpointers.co.uk

 

 

La Voix Humaine/La Livre Blanc | Riverside Studios

‘It is quite beautifully sung by Rebecca Lea… A solo piece which is extremely demanding on the performer with three-quarters of an hour of high emotion she had no recourse to obvious histrionics but maintained an intensity of feeling that held the audience…I found the puppets most effective.’
Howard Loxton in British Theatre Guide

2008


Hamlet – A Retelling | White Bear Theatre

‘It is strong, steady and keeps you inside the story throughout…her all female cast give the play softness and fluidity…’
Lalayn Baluch in The Stage

‘It was the sweet and imaginative details that brought it alive.’
Zia Trench in British Theatre Guide

‘This is a beautiful and bold production, full of wonderful detail…one of the best Hamlets I’ve seen in thirty years of theatre-going.’
John Weybridge in thisislondon.co.uk

 

 

Hidden Light | Barons Court Theatre & Oxford Playhouse

‘A simple, intelligent production…It is a subtle, elegant performance… genuinely moving.’
Natasha Tripney in The Stage

‘The most impressive performance I have seen here in seventeen years.’
Ron Philips, Artistic Director of the Barons Court Theatre

‘The play manages to present scientific thought and principle in an engaging way by having such an absorbing and convincing character. Emilie seems both of her time and modern…The staging was sparse and simple and the actress‘s movements were limited, which made the skill with which she captivated the audience all the more impressive.’
Hannah Watson in Daily Info

‘One of the best things I’ve ever seen on the London Fringe.’
Kathy Manners in thisislondon.co.uk

2007


The Birds | Merton Chapel
Metta Theatre are to be congratulated for their innovation and courage in mounting this witty and challenging piece of music theatre…interesting and accessible…the production was outstanding. In terms of the vocal performances, they were all excellent.’
Simon Tavener in Daily Info

2006