Review: Ace! Festival- Our Island

Our Island turned out to a really gem of a show, if a little slow to pick up pace.

I’d be honest and say that after the first ten minutes of the show I was ready to walk out- the squawking of the actors (they each spoke a different gibberish language as supposed to English) was a tad annoying.

The show picked up in pace and storyline after about 20minutes to a strong climax and finish- the overall plot was strong and the use of gibberish added a certain charm to the whole experience. Q- and the other kids, seems utterly non fussed by the non-English-ness of the whole play and my 2yo found it decidedly hilarious!

From the synopsis:
Three diverse and comical characters are washed up on a mystery island. Why? We don’t know. How? We don’t know. What we do know is – that they REALLY don’t understand each other! They must overcome their fears and phobias, and work together to escape from the island. First, they need to learn how to communicate with each other in order to work together. Using physical theatre, comedy, music and mayhem to raise some important questions and examine preconceptions about stereotypes, this is an international collaboration about international collaboration!

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Review: Ace! Festival- The owl who was afraid of the dark

I read this book one day whilst wandering about the kid’s bookstore and while I didn’t like it enough to buy it (read: too expensive in my eyes), I did enjoy the story enough to think that it would make a relatively funny show for kids to watch and was duly excited that it was part of the ACE! Festival! offering.

This was probably the strongest of the festival offerings I watched- the cast started out engaging the audience even before the show actually began and had many pockets of occasions for the audience to participate throughout the show.

The storytelling element itself was beautifully done, kudos to all three actors who- despite a slightly strong English accent that threw me off a little at some points, played their roles magnificently. They kept the story simple enough for my 2.5yo to understand and Q really got into the whole show- singing and participating as requested.

A great show overall.

From the synopsis:
Plop was a baby Barn Owl. He lived at the top of a tall tree, in a field. He was fat and fluffy. He had big round eyes. He had very knackety knees. Plop was exactly the same as every barn owl that has ever been – except for one thing. He was AFRAID of the DARK. One day, Mr Barn Owl suggested that Plop fly down into the world and find out about the dark for himself. So, Plop climbed out of his nest-hole, peeped over the edge, wobbled a bit, and fell off his branch. And so, began Plop’s adventure…

Based on the classic children’s book by Jill Tomlinson, this funny, gentle and reassuring tale (is an) irresistible blend of live music, puppetry and storytelling, this beautiful new show introduces an old friend to a new generation of theatre-goers. Join Plop, the baby barn owl as he journeys into the night-time world of campfires, fireworks, starry nights and moonlit adventures. Come join us, – it’s going to be a hoot!

Review: Stick Man

Kid’s Fest 2012 brought in three shows: The tiger who came to tea, We’re going on a bear hunt and Stick Man. We had originally only planned to watch Tiger and Bear but since Q had such a great time at the two shows, we bought last minute tickets (at the door with ten minutes to go, no less) to catch Stick Man.

And what a gem of a show it turned out to be!

Based on the hugely successful book by Julia Donaldson, Stick Man tells the tale of an unlikely (anti)hero who lives in the family tree with his “Stick Lady Love and their Stick Children Three.” Stick Man’s adventure takes off when a dog steals him away and he has to somehow find his way home.

Brought to the stage by the acclaimed Scamp Theatre, the show mixes puppetry with actors and though I thought Q (and the other kids) would have problems identifying the puppet and actor as one, he really got into the show and even teared up when all seemed lost and Stick Man looked like he might never make it home and applauded when he finally did.

Though I was most apprehensive about this show, I ended enjoying this the most. Not just because I felt the way the Scamp Theatre engaged the children was brilliant but the show gave me an insight to Q, his emotional maturity (for a barely two year old anyway) and his thought process seeing as he felt the need to jabber out loud all through this show.

An utter gem of a day.

Review: The tiger who came to tea

Q thoroughly enjoyed watching the Sesame Street live show Elmo’s Green Thumbs and since then, we’ve been fortunate to have been able to take him to several shows and today we caught another gem of a show: The Tiger who came to tea.

Based on the book of the same title by Judith Kerr, this show/book is a lovely story about an unexpected and magical day after lil Sophie and her mother welcome a tiger that turned up on their doorstep. And as hungry tigers go, he eats his way steadily through all the food in their house and all the drinks in the house including “all the water in the sink”. And just as politely as he came- with a flourish and a bow, he makes his exit. And when dad comes home, he takes his family out for supper and the next day, they even bought some tiger food, just in case the tiger ever came back… “but he never did.”

With great story telling and easy repeatable songs that Q managed to catch on by midway of the show, The tiger who came to tea (show) was a delightful way to spend the afternoon. The kids- and parents- were duly entertained by the talented cast of three and I hope you have the chance to take your family to catch this Olivier Award nominee (2012) when it next hits town.