Long Nose Puppets present Penguin by Polly Dunbar
"The story of Penguin centres around a little boy, Ben, who is delivered a parcel which, on opening, turns out to be an penguin. Ben tries to engage the penguin to no effect. It won't move. It won't speak. Ben tries various strategies to get it to come to life. He takes it to a doctor and even resorts to firing it into outer space!
All of these episodes become the occasion for sing-along music, audience participation, much humour and plenty of clever special effects.
The genius of this show is that it is all about simple images and the proof that it is children's imagination that contain all the fuel they need to fire their own creativity and enthusiasm.
There's so much going on in the show and yet cleverly the focus of the story is anchored to stillness, an unmoving blinking penguin. The whole Freerange down often found itself in almost complete stillness as the audience watched to see if the penguin would finally move or speak, and not just occasionally blink its eyes, a lovely piece of dramatic irony that thrilled many a toddler in the audience.
The songs are beat-based and there's great variety in the styles of music employed. My personal favourite was Say Something!
Back-lit animations were used to strong effect with hand-crafted, cut-out genius. The child I'd brought to see it loved this aspect and sat in wrapt attention throughout. These were special, special effects, simply made, animated with a hand-made feel, yet also a sense of calm, vibrant imagination and skill.
The show ends with an affirming message about the importance of friendship. It's a warm-hearted show, with some wonderful sharp edges that delight rather than scare. It's done with impressive imagination, and the energetic music is a perfect companion to the narrative, the puppetry is of an excellent standard and there's an inventiveness and imagination that has resulted in a gem of a show. Highly recommended."
Tickets: child £4 / adult £2
Call 01424 229 111 to book or click the green button