As anyone who’s ever dealt with a three-year-old can tell you, keeping
their attention can be a Herculean task. It’s therefore a pleasure to see a
Moments of spontaneous participation are made possible by the audience being seated on-stage amongst the grassy fringes of the set – a lovely touch which makes the show feel far more inclusive.
As the name suggests, the theme of this play is the humble earthworm; how they look, where they live and what they like to do with their time. Our hosts William and Wilma, a couple of keen naturalists, are in search of such a worm to complete their creepy-crawly scrapbook and to find one they’re going to have to go deep, deep underground.
There they meet with not one but a whole family of squirmy new friends; Dad, Mum, Uncle Eric, Grandad and the musical twins Johan and Ludwig. And not to forget the littlest but bravest, Wee Wilma. These seven, cleverly created with just a felt-tip pen and some little knitted bobblehats, show our explorers around their subterranean home and tell them a little more about what it’s like to be a worm.
They do this through a number of lovely little songs, accompanied very skillfully by William on a variety of musical instruments, which had the kids in the audience laughing and singing along. A particular favourite was Plants Can’t Take Root Wi’oot Worm Poop, a number which predictably drew howls of laughter from the kids – as well as a particularly embarrassing revelation from one tot about her mum’s bathroom habits. Moments of spontaneous participation like this are made possible by the audience being seated on-stage amongst the grassy fringes of the set – a lovely touch which makes the show feel far more inclusive.
To round off the hour, William and Wilma finally unveiled the mysterious box in the corner of the stage – a real-life wormery which the kids could crowd around and ask questions about – a lovely way to link the principles of the story to the real world.
The Worm: An Underground Adventure is a sweet little piece which will give younger children a gentle introduction to ecology but, more importantly, keep them engaged and amused for the whole 60 minutes.