- Thom Dibdin
- 12 August 2018
Puppetry with a message
If you're going to make a successful kids shows with a message, either let that message grow out of your story or, as Barmpot Theatre do here, announce it without shame or discomfort.
And you know, it works. A Penguinpig is something Sophie saw on the internet, the cute little puppet tells us in her 'story of long, long ago in a place far, far away...'. Or rather, last week at home. She, and her cuddly sausage dog Spike, go on to tell us about looking at animals on her mum's tablet, finding out about a Penguinpig (it lives in a shoe, eats children's socks and they have one at the zoo) then going off one Sunday morning to the zoo, on her own...
The puppetry, is both well-conceived and inventively done. The parents are just legs – a screen rolls down to become the shadow puppet tablet, and the place of Sophie's dream when the Penguinpig comes to life.
Oh yes, there is a Penguinpig. It dances on the audience's heads in the same way as Spike comes to get his tummy scratched. Of course we know it isn't real, it's a puppet, make-believe. And now we know that the internet isn't always real either.