- Allan Radcliffe
- 10 August 2009
This article is from 2009.
Amphibian tale that puts a spring in your step
Pity poor Max. He’s moving house in the morning, and is terrified of leaving behind his friends, his school and his teacher. The only thing his mother can do to reassure him is read from his favourite picture books – all about a kindly, inquisitive frog and his best friends, Duck, Pig and Dog.
Theater Terra’s weaving together of several popular stories by Max Velthuijs enchants with its mix of giant-sized spongy puppets, upbeat songs and a lovely, generous-spirited message about friendship and acceptance. While the story opens quietly, with little Max alone in his bed, the quartet of performers quickly fill the space with colour, sound and movement. The inventive use of scenery and props means that a scary haunted wood is created from stacked, painted boxes, while a beautiful snowscape appears by the aid of blankets and feathers.
There’s so much happening on stage at any one time, all of it carefully choreographed, that it’s difficult to know where to look. Cynical older heads might find the whole package a bit earnest and cheesy, but it’s all delivered with such infectious energy and panache that even the most stony-hearted will be bopping along to the frog chorus by the end.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 19, 20), 11am, £7.50–£8.50 (£6–£7).