It is a delight to watch young children laughing and clapping at a performance that entertains so thoroughly. Most of the audience knew the tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and quite a few were familiar with the other Eric Carle books portrayed, but this production made these stories fresh and vibrant. The creators and producers of the show, Jonathan Worsley and Michael Sieders have done a terrific job in bringing these four tales to the stage.
The performance begins with The Artist who painted a Blue Horse and the children were immediately mesmerised by the creations that appeared. The following stories, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, flowed well and kept the attention focused. All credit to the set designer James Borwne and costume designer Andrea Espinoza for the beautiful world they created. The cast did a great job of inhabiting the many animals in the stories: Gavin Clarke, Dannielle Jackson, Justine Warner, and Drew Wilson, moved smoothly in and out of the characters they portrayed.
The Puppet Kitchen provided assistance on the design and construction of the puppets and clearly knows their business; they were colourful and moved realistically. The director Naomi Edwards has managed to keep all of this moving without seeming rushed, aided no doubt by Samantha Chester, the movement director.
The children were especially thrilled with the fireflies that twinkled so beautifully and although they knew the end, the appearance of the Butterfly was applauded vigorously. The whole presentation was easy to watch and delighted the attending parents as much as the intended audience.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Festival Centre
Season: 7 July– 11 July
Tickets: All $35,