Saturday, 2 February 2013

Dream puppets

I've been waiting 2 and a half years (yup, since Oscar and Caitlin were born) to take them to our local theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, which puts on some excellent productions for youngsters. Finally, that day arrived - today.

As this beautiful picture shows, Arthur's Dream Boat by Long Nose Puppets is a stunning show. The puppets they create are gorgeous. But what this picture doesn't convey is the timing, the soundtrack, Arthur's endearing accent, his mother's hands and the expressive way they moved, in short, the sheer magic of the play - for that, you need to go and see it.

We loved it so much we bought the soundtrack and listened to it as soon as we got home - the 'Tipperty Tapperty' track which tells of the digital age, sung to the rythmic tapping of a keyboard - "no grandma, it's not just a phase" - is so true yet so clever.

I especially appreciated the 'meet the puppets' session at the end - where all the audience got to interact with the puppets (Arthur and a fish) and their 'hidden' operators. After inital fears of 'they're going to be mobbed' as the under-5s descended proved unfounded, it was a wonderful experience. Truly memorable. Even if O & C are too young to remember it hopefully this post (coupled with the soundtrack) will act as a reminder.

That wasn't my only local theatre experience - two outings in one weekend; unprecented! 'Money, the Game Show' at the Bush Theatre, a superb Shepherd's Bush institution, was also very good, though one for the adults - an education on the sub prime mortgage instigated financial crisis, dressed up in an entertaining enough 'game show' format.

There were fun and games with members of the audience called on to take part. Our 'team' had two especially talented people - a lady who could make a four leaf clover out of her tongue, seriously; and a guy who was especially good at blowing up balloons against the clock, a talent I'm sure he'd never really known about until that night. I'd have paid good money just to see him. I'm not sure if it was the determination to win, the knowing side glances to his team, or peculiar lip licking mannerisms, but whatever it was, it was pure comedy genius!

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