Awarm-heartedadaptation of the
well-known children’s book about a plucky guinea pig –
the end of the show was magical and, as they say in the play, “dandastic"
They began the play with a mime sequence and, although it was good enough for the children, it was not professionally performed. Throughout the show the mime choreography was pleasant, clear and adequate for children. The songs were well written and were sung with gentle, soft voices.
The stage and puppets were loyal to the book’s illustrations and kept their charm, yet the puppets seemed to be a bit stiff. As the puppets’ mouths barely opened, you couldn’t help but look at the very expressive puppeteers rather than the puppets themselves. If the puppets’ mouths had been more flexible, they would have had stronger presence. Another issue was the use of the stage floor as the main area of the play. This was frustrating for some children as it made it hard to see what was going on.
The one hour show was a bit too long, especially as the rhythm of the show was monotonic. After the half way point the young audience started to fidget in their chairs and some lost their concentration. Luckily the performers succeeded in gaining back the audience’s attention by including sweet and fun interactions, such as an energetic rain dance that was followed by spraying the audience with a sprinkler.
They also added a new character who was not in the original story - a monkey who grows cabbages. The monkey added a lot to the show, as his character served both as educational content about business and farming and also as the baddie who wants to steal the last dandelion from the guinea pigs. His inclusion successfully added some drama to the story and provided a positive moral of collaboration as Christopher Nibble and the monkey become partners in vegetable growing. The end of the show was magical and, as they say in the play, “dandastic".