The Selfish Crocodile
Pefectly pitched puppetry
This article is from 2007.
Some kids shows get the puppets right, others throw out a few catchy songs, while some tell a good story. But Blunderbus Theatre Company does all three, perfectly aimed at their target age range of 3–7-year-olds.
Based on Charles Terry’s popular storybook, The Selfish Crocodile features a host of subsidiary characters who suffer at the jaws of the eponymous reptile. A herd of gazelles, a hippo, a smelly wildebeast and a friendly lion all make an appearance, beautifully created and handled by these talented puppeteers. Best of all is the mouse narrator, whose witty mannerisms bring the tale to life.
From the colourful patches on their dungarees, to the bright hues of their jungle set, this company exudes fun and enthusiasm. Taking the time to find out children’s names beforehand, the cast drop them into the narrative as if they were old friends.
And while it’s nice, as an adult viewer, to have the odd comedic line thrown in your direction, it’s not always necessary, as this show ably proves. Blunderbus is quite literally doing it for the kids – full stop. There are no theatrical egos being polished here, no hidden agendas, just simple storytelling tailored for young hearts and minds. And, as luck would have it, it’s engaging enough to keep accompanying adults happy, too. (Kelly Apter)
Venue 45, 556 0476, until 25 Aug, 10.15am, £6.50 (£5.50).