Hush, a new children’s show based around the perils of keeping and telling secrets, is an excellent showcase of the talents of young company Moon Mission Theatre. Three characters – friends Nosey and Chatterbox and lonely Princess – brilliantly decked out in colourful costumes, explore their own deepest secrets, and each others’ and take a trip to a magic land created by Princess in a dream.
Hush strikes gold with this concept because the characters engage solely with the children and empower them by entrusting the children with their most important secrets. Even upon the audience’s arrival, the children are urged to participate by keeping Princess’ secret safe for her. Generally, the interaction between actors and audience is very strong, and the three create a good balance between pantomime-style Cbeebies-esque chatter for the children, and poignant moments that mums and dads will appreciate. The fun even continues as the audience leave, with crowns being presented to the children so that they can all be princes and princesses.
It is also obvious that the cast are confident and able to improvise, as latecomers to the show were immediately welcomed. Moon Mission Theatre use homemade-looking props very well to engage even very young children, though there are occasions when younger children may not understand the significance of aspects of the story. The use of props to represent the parents of the three characters was slightly confusing for the youngest children, but the general uplifting message of friendship-conquers-all is incredibly clear and heart-warming.
This is one of those rare shows that the whole family can truly enjoy, with a strong moral message and plenty of laughs for everyone. Moon Mission Theatre, newcomers to the Fringe, also welcome feedback from children and parents at the end of the performance, and have been greeted overwhelmingly with praise. I expect we shall be seeing a great deal more of them in the future.