When it comes to children’s theatre, there are good shows and there are bad shows, and then there are shows that work. No matter what their objective aesthetic quality might be and whether or not they meet with critical approval, the shows that work keep your child interested and engaged the whole way through, which, as some of us will know, is no mean feat!
While much children’s theatre strives to deploy innovation, latest scientific research or modern day technology, Oskar’s Amazing Adventure is in many ways a very simple old-fashioned show. Featuring soft toy puppets, a multifunctional hand-painted set, some singing, audience participation and storytelling, this creation by Anglo-Swiss Theatre Fideri Fidera concerns the adventures of an errant puppy who has grown bored in his Alpine hut in deep winter. He leaves his family consisting of a human grandma, dog-mum and some chickens, and predictably gets himself into trouble, prompting a chase and a search. Ultimately this is a story of friendship and courage, rather than being just a cautionary tale.
Solo performer Natasha Granger brings all of it to life with excellent pacing, well judged audience rapport and perfectly pitched expression. Even though at times both the performer’s voice and the set itself are at the risk of excessive strain, the enchanted audience are more than willing to turn a blind eye, join in and make the whole thing work for some 40 minutes.
Nostalgic and satisfying like a cup of cocoa by the open fire, this piece is guaranteed to be a great winter warmer either side of the Alps.
Oskar’s Amazing Adventure is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot until 27th August. Click here for more details.