The Goose Who Flew is a short, but delightfully told, allegorical tale of a dispossessed goose in a strange new land. The young children in a semi-circle are introduced to Goose, who loves to play with his friends and family in the summer time, and looks forward with excitement to his first turn of leading the flock to warmer lands for the winter. A variety of strange items litter the playing area which become all sorts of different things: places, people and creatures, as the tale is told.
A tale full of heart and hope.
Amber-Rose May performs this one woman show with ease and quiet confidence. She moves effortlessly between being scenery and changing the landscape to beautiful puppetry of the quite extraordinary goose. A feather loving character called Flossy is played with her foot, and a spider type creature called Bolty she moves with one hand: sometimes moving all three characters at the same time. There is a funny little section where Flossy dances with Goose on top of a bucket which made everyone smile. She also deftly moves between the neutral narrator, a doctor at the hospital and a paper loving funny bureaucrat.
Lots of Odds Theatre in collaboration with Half Moon Theatre have brought this story together after being inspired by children who had left their home country and learning of the difficulties they faced, what helped them, and ultimately, their resilience. The show has the tricky task of sharing Goose’s story to an age range of between three and seven, plus their adult companions. There is a Kafka-esque section with the bureaucrat, going through the different coloured forms, pulled out from vast concertina files, that Goose may need to complete in order to stay in this new land; where Goose is asked if his old Country is safe to return to. Goose of course cannot understand the man’s questions. The allegory here is powerful.
Ultimately, although at the beginning Goose is confused, alone and very frightened; all the people that he meets on his journey in the new land do help him, and the systems are set up to provide him with medical help and accommodation. Compared with the current political climate it would be nice if Goose’s story was the way people actually experience support in a new land after tragedy strikes. It very much gives a sense that this is how it should be, rather than this is how it is, which is understandable as a tale for under eights.
Music is played almost throughout, with some city sound effects too: traffic noises and people shouting. Some of the very young children were getting restless towards the end as the pace is slow, and it seems that many would have liked to interact and be part of it. However, this is a tale full of heart and hope. Amber-Rose May sings a wordless refrain at points throughout that the children and adults were still singing on the way out. It was absolutely charming.