Puppetry and song for young ‘uns
This article is from 2010.
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).