Tall Stories' Twinkle Twonkle secretly teaching kids
Mixing nursery rhymes and adventure with astronomy and science
This article is from 2010.
Known for their respectful and highly entertaining adaptations of popular picture books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, sometimes Tall Stories just like to do their own thing. And, as shows like The Snow Dragon and Them with Tails demonstrated, they’re very good at that, too.
Devised by the company, Twinkle Twonkle weaves well-known nursery rhymes and the Big Bang theory into the exciting tale of a little boy called Ryan who loses his teddy. When he goes into outer space to look for it, Ryan’s older sister Stellar has to venture up after him, encountering planets and stars along the way. Meanwhile, those in the audience are being entertained and surreptitiously educated at the same time.
‘We find that the four-year-olds enjoy the nursery rhymes, and the fun and adventure of the story,’ says director Toby Mitchell. ‘Then the kids aged five and up enjoy the story as well as understanding more of the science behind it. And of course the adults watching remember stuff they once knew about astronomy and science! But the “factual” parts of the show are woven in carefully, so it never seems like we’re actually teaching anything.’
As with all Tall Stories shows, there will be music and song, strong character acting and a storyline that carries you along. Or, as Mitchell puts it: ‘In the end, our shows all come down to a bunch of people in a room, experiencing together a strong exciting story, full of good characters, music and humour.’
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 7–30 Aug (not 18 & 25), 2pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, 2pm, £6.50.