Penguin (2 stars)

This article is from 2010.


Puppetry and song for young ‘uns

Opening a bright, shiny package, little boy Ben discovers a penguin inside. But joy quickly turns to disappointment when the flightless fellow refuses to speak. Various attempts at persuasion are made, including a trip to the doctors, to no avail, until a drastic situation involving a lion with a New Yoik drawl calls for emergency measures.

Adapted from Polly Dunbar’s picture book, by Dunbar herself and her company Long Nose Puppets, this show fails to engage in quite the same way as their previous superb work, Shoe Baby. Puppet Ben is utterly charming, so too the Penguin – but the guitar-playing narrator and his unnecessarily complicated song feels a bit like padding. While the pre-recorded vocals stop the performers living fully in the moment with the audience, rendering the moments of participation a little flat.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug (not 25), 11.20am, £7–£8 (£6–£7).


  • 2 stars

Long Nose Puppets are proud to present their spectacular new show 'Penguin' adapted from the award-winning book by Polly Dunbar. Ben is delighted when he rips open his present and finds a penguin inside. 'Hello, Penguin!' says Ben. Penguin says nothing. What can Ben do to make Penguin speak? Follow the twists and turns of…


1. Hazel Winchester16 Aug 2010, 11:55pm4 stars Penguin Report

My 2.5 yr old loved this show - she said it was her favourite show of the three she saw. There was a slightly younger girl in front of us who kept crying as she found the narrator puppet and the alien puppets scary, but most of the other little babies there seemd to be transfixed. It is such a shame that it is listed in the fringe guide as for 0-1 year olds, as I only took my 2.5 yr old because it was recommended by someone who said the guide was wrong - otherwise I wouldn't have gone and my little one would have missed out. The songs were very jolly too. Highly recommended for 2.5 - 5yr olds

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