Giraffes Can't Dance
Uplifting story for little ones
This article is from 2009.
With so many shows to choose from on the Fringe, parents have to be canny about what they take their young charges to. In recent years, the wise money has been spent on a ticket to see Blunderbus Theatre Company. Specialising in musical tales for 3–7-year-olds that incorporate beautifully-crafted puppets, the company has captivated all who saw its adaptations of storybooks such as Elmer the Elephant and The Rainbow Fish.
This year, it is taking on Giles Andreae’s Giraffes Can’t Dance, the charming tale of bandy-legged Gerald and his unique movement style. Artistic director, Bill Davies explains the choice. ‘It’s a very simple but beautifully optimistic story,’ he says. ‘The moral is relevant to everybody and there’s something about Gerald’s wide-eyed innocence that children instantly identify with. All of the ingredients were present – the colourful characters, the poetic language – and recreating the great jungle dance was a very exciting challenge.’
One of the defining features of the Blunderbus team is friendliness. Acquainting themselves with the audience beforehand allows them actively to involve children in the show. ‘The audience is our friend,’ says Davies. ‘We invite them to join us on our adventures and do our best to ensure they’re with us at every turn. Blunderbuss tell stories, but we also try to create memorable experiences for children – and the best way to engage 3–7-year-olds is to include them in the action and ask their opinions.’ (Kelly Apter)
The Space @ Royal College of Surgeons, 0845 508 8515, 8–29 Aug (not 16), 10.35am (9 & 23, 2.35pm), £7 (£6). Preview 7 Aug, £5.