Pop-Up! The Amazing Adventures of Moo-Dong

The phrase ‘and much more’ has to be one of the laziest devices in the English language, appended onto sentences as a sign that the writer is bereft of ideas. Pop-Up! The Amazing Adventures of Moo-Dong, for example is ‘packed with puppets, video, dance, music and much more!’ True, there are puppets, video, dance and music throughout this Korean production, but there’s not much sign of much more. It doesn’t matter of course; the aforementioned smorgasbord for the senses ought to be more than enough to keep the kids entertained. Sadly it isn’t.Moo-Dong takes us on an adventure through a series of paintings that come to life, a journey that should teach children to appreciate art, music and theatre. As a Korean production - delivered in Korean - the show largely consists of Moo-Dong and her supporting cast jabbering away in their native language, with the occasional English voiceover when things get a bit frantic. The plot gets lost, not in translation, but just in the general oddness of the whole affair. Imagine an arcade edition of Super Mario Brothers mixed with the zaniness of Banzai and you’re almost there. Whether eight or 48, the only emotion engendered by those in the audience is one of bemusement.There are a few nice touches in there, such as the painting of a basket of fruit that spins round 180° to reveal a man’s face, and Moo-Dong certainly appears to have fun as she yelps her way through the set. If only the same could be said of the fidgety audience. One of the cast appears onstage clutching a furry dog, which he sits at his feet while pretending to play the piano. Every few seconds, the man has to stop to re-attach the dog’s head which keeps getting kicked off. The Koreans and dogs just don’t seem to get along well.The show ends with Moo-Dong drifting off to sleep beside the puppet of a tired old man. It’s all the audience can do not to join her. It’s a shame: with a little more focus, this is a show that could have provided laughter, learning and much more.

The Blurb

Watch famous paintings come to life before your eyes! Memorable and unique way of introducing young audiences to the magic of art. Packed with puppets, video, dance, music and much more! www.theatrebom.com.