We asked one of our valued young ambassadors (Twinkle, aged 14) to write a review of our most recent show, Little Monster by Touched Theatre. What a wonderful review!
Can you summarize what the show is about? What were the different themes of the performance?
The main theme of the show is facing fear: exploring the things that scare us and how to overcome them through friendship and teamwork. The show is about two very different (but equally loveable) monsters, braver than their companions, each with a story of their own and an important task to carry out (even if it scares them). Both make great achievements on their separate journeys, but find that they are unable to face their fears alone. Together, they team up to brave what frightens them and discover a newfound friendship along the way - whilst also finding out that there is really nothing to be afraid of after all!
How do the puppeteers create character and communicate meaning?
Both puppets are unique, with their own voices (and languages), movements and individual personalities, all of which were really well conveyed by the puppeteers. I really liked the touches made by the puppeteers to add to each puppet’s character - for example the Oozleflump having a tongue like a hand which he can use to eat and demand food with! I felt the Shadling becoming “smaller” during her quest was an extremely good idea, as it really communicated her experience of feeling lost, alone and afraid, quite literally very small out in the big wide world. I also liked the fact that the puppets and puppeteers interacted with one another as it made everything feel even more realistic.
What were the highlights for you?
It would be hard to choose one favourite thing about the show as I really enjoyed all of it! I loved the props used in the show, and the way both puppeteers and puppets alike used them and interacted with them. I also really liked how setting up the props was incorporated into the beginning of the performance, as it actually added to the storyline and immediately drew the audience in, provoking thought, wonder and interest. I felt the mix of use between hand-puppets and shadow puppets was a great idea and I really enjoyed these different elements, as it made the performance even more fun to watch. The puppets themselves are true works of art, and I love all the little details that make up not only their looks but their personalities too. I think my favourite scene is when the Shadling stops being scared and jumps into the water - it all just felt so real! The show just seemed to get better and better as it went on and I was fully absorbed right till the end.
What was the reaction of the audience?
The audience responded positively and really enjoyed the show! They were engaged in the performance from beginning to end and didn’t become bored or restless. I heard several people singing the songs from the show afterwards!
Can you talk about any of the elements of the show such as the lighting, sound, set?
I loved the use of stage lighting in this show as I felt it really enhanced and added to the magic and beauty of the performance, for example the colour-changes for each location while the Shadling is on her quest (such as green for forests and violet for cities), and also for certain settings (such as red when the sun is setting or blue when the Shadling is in the water), which of course contrasted beautifully with the shadow elements, and further entranced the audience. The lighting, music, and performance of the puppeteers were all very accurately timed and came together perfectly, which quite impressed me!