WHEN it comes to clearing the house of those battered old toys we usually find we’re overcome with emotion and end up giving them a new home in the loft. But what happens to the ones that are cast out on to the scrap heap?
The latest production by Sea Legs Puppet Theatre, The Musicians of Bremen, is a beautifully conceived tale about four such toys who aren’t going to take it lying down. Rather than be recycled, a dog on wheels, a little donkey, a clockwork rooster who’s lost his doodle-do and an old cloth cat join forces and head off on an adventure in a bid to find home and happiness.
A clever re-working of the children’s story of the same name, this wonderfully inventive show captivated the young audience, employing a mixture of hand-held puppets, props and ingenious scenery, along with some beautiful shadow puppetry.
It’s truly heartening to see an auditorium full of children lapping up an art form as old as the hills, albeit with a nod and a wink to modern sensibilities.
There are echoes of Toy Story 3 in the narrative, and this touches all the same sentimental soft spots, but offers something that a movie can’t – audience participation.
Add to that live music and the chance to meet the cast at the end, and you have a truly magical 45 minutes of entertainment that lives long in the memory.
Puppeteer, musician and showman Rob Ashman delivers a skilful and beautifully crafted show – as those familiar with Sea Legs will know. He and behind-the-scenes colleague Matt Hart build the scenery and puppets for each show, adding a wholly unique flavour to the production.
A brief time in the company of Sea Legs is one of those experiences you’ll cherish as a family.