Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Children’s Puppet Festival


Children’s Puppet Festival It’s amazing what you can find in a suitcase… Kitchen Zoo arrive at the Little Angel Theatre with their travelbag packed to the brim with enthusiasm, energy, and the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. Most of us have heard the Aesop’s fable, where the arrogant Hare thinks he can outrun the slow and steady Tortoise, but is instead foiled by his own overconfidence as Tortoise takes their time, enjoying the journey. And that’s exactly the story we get here. But on full sugar! This is a tremendously upbeat production for very young children, packed…

Rating



Excellent

A cheerfully colourful, choreographed, captivating and crazy show that will have your little ones hopping home happily.

It’s amazing what you can find in a suitcase… Kitchen Zoo arrive at the Little Angel Theatre with their travelbag packed to the brim with enthusiasm, energy, and the story of The Tortoise and the Hare.

Most of us have heard the Aesop’s fable, where the arrogant Hare thinks he can outrun the slow and steady Tortoise, but is instead foiled by his own overconfidence as Tortoise takes their time, enjoying the journey. And that’s exactly the story we get here. But on full sugar!

This is a tremendously upbeat production for very young children, packed full of music, invention, energy and interaction. It’s constantly fluxing, adapting, and offering different ways to enjoy an already familiar story.

We begin with a gentle introduction, where we meet the cast and get a feel for the music and style of the show. The children are handed flags so they can participate in the forthcoming race and they waste no time waving them around. Georgia Hill’s beautiful set design and colour palette are inviting – bold without being brash – and as the show progresses they reveal some delightfully inventive storytelling features.

The actors are welcoming and wonderfully over the top, almost cartoon in their characterisation. Bob Nicholson is an ebullient, bouncing Hare who briskly encourages the children to shout out for him to be winner; and they are more than happy to oblige. Meanwhile the talented Hannah Goudie-Hunter gives an incredible physical performance as Tortoise, morphing and stretching; sometimes carefully controlled as she switches to slow motion. She displays extraordinary clowning skills and engages cheerily with the audience, who laugh out loud at her facial contortions.

Tim Dalling is our Wise Owl and also in charge of the incredible music in the show. From accordion to melodica to percussion that simply uses taped up tubes hit with a spoon, or tapped on a leg, the music is the soul of the production, giving texture and warmth that keeps the audience happily clapping and bouncing in their seats.

There are a bewildering number of styles of performance in this show, from clowning to music, multiple types of puppetry and object manipulation, sleight of hand and incredible physical activity, all presented with polish and pace. And the audience are included the whole way along, right up to a full on race to the finish that has the auditorium cheering, then invited to contribute with a chorus of “I like the bit where…”!

Colourful, choreographed, captivating and completely crazy The Tortoise and the Hare is a really feelgood show that will have those little ones happy and hopping like a hare all the way home.


Originally created by Bob Nicholson, Hannah Goudie-Hunter and Hannabiell Saunders
Music By Tim Dalling
Design by Georgia Hill
Produced by: Kitchen Zoo Production


By Sandra Winters

Writer | Author | Wordsmith Passionate about crafting stories that captivate and inspire. Published author of [Book Title]. Dedicated to exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences through the power of words. Join me on this literary journey as we delve into the realms of imagination and uncover the beauty of storytelling.