It’s a beautiful day at the Fringe and I’m sat on the top deck of a red bus in the Meadows. Outside, joggers jog and bees buzz while the traffic streams by. As the world goes about its business, a group of wide-eyed toddlers sit on beanbags watching The Red Bus Puppet Show.
There may be a cold pint of Deuchars on the sign announcing venue 277, but this is a dry bus. Not to worry, for it’s barely mid-morning, and besides, we have the spectacle of Sleeping Beauty to entertain us, recounted by our three puppeteers.
The tale is simply told, with the all-female cast deftly wielding Briar Rose and her puppet pals. They sing sweetly and swish their cloaks to herald scene changes. There’s a distinct air of hippie about the whole production, but that only serves to add to its humble charms.
Tempting as it would be to launch into an impassioned diatribe about society’s compulsion to brainwash kids into believing that handsome princes and rushed marriage are the sole route to happiness, I’ll refrain. Besides, there’ll doubtless be plenty more opportunities to do so as the Fringe progresses.
For under-4s, The Red Bus Puppet Show is just the ticket. At times the cast struggle to be heard over the passing traffic, but otherwise there’s little to fault with this simple show. All aboard the jolly red bus.