French puppetry treat for tots
This article is from 2007.
Exploring is fun at any age, but for our eponymous hero there are a lot of firsts in his day. He discovers a tin barrel that not only makes great noises but can be used as boat. He meets some new friends along the way and learns that keeping his tummy full is not always as straightforward as it looks.
Holding our attention and entertaining the under fours without the aid of gongs, whistles or explosive gimmicks are real skills. But French company Théâtre du Risorius do it, while dealing in gentle, emotive storytelling with music that has understated, evocative phrasing.
The puppetry is flawless and the Little Bear’s movements and sound effects are brilliantly realised. There is a danger that the characters are too similar in colour and shape for smaller kids to follow and some of the more subtle action may be lost on all but the oldest viewers. But these are minor gripes for such an engaging show.
Sweet Grassmarket, 0870 241 0136, until 27 Aug, 10.30am & 11.15am, £6 (£4).