Review: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate through three plums

He ate through three plums, but he was still hungry

Captivating an audience of under fives is a miracle.

From the beginning the actor puppeteers caught children’s attention and imagination at The Warren.

It was the first of five shows at the Brighton Fringe venue, telling the Eric Carle stories The Artist Who Painted the Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and finishing with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Dressed in white, the humans blended into the background as the beautifully crafted puppets stole the show.

The pink rabbit bounding across the stage

The pink rabbit from the man who painted a blue horse

With fluid movements the pink bunny bounded across the stage.

Lighting created an underwater effect for Mister Seahorse. The scene completed by the puppeteers wearing snorkel and masks.

It was fascinating to learn about male fish raising their families.

Mister Seahorse

Mister Seahorse

Concern for the Very Lonely Firefly was palpable as it flew around seeking its own kind, to find candles, cars, city light until finally it wasn’t lonely any more.

It was a moving piece.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate through one red apple

He ate through one red apple

When the moon appeared it was a great segway to lead into the main event. There on a very large leaf sat a tiny egg.

There were shrieks of delight as the tiny caterpillar popped out of his egg, before heading off to enjoy a banquet.

This was truly magnificent, beginning with a larger puppet took on a week of feasting.

He was still hungry

Children counted along with every fruit. One red apple, two pairs, three plums, four strawberries and five oranges.

Hearing the audience of young voices yell “but he was still hungry” was magical.

Munching through the picnic saw the puppeteers dancing with slices of salami, an ice cream cone and pickle.

Not forgetting the chocolate cake and lollypop.

A big fat caterpillar

He was a big fat caterpillar

Once again the caterpillar ate through one nice big green leaf to transform into a big fat caterpillar, the young audience recited the story.

Everyone was quiet as he built his coccon house before transforming.

As the giant butterfly filled the stage the multitude of children were enchanted.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar turned into a beautiful butterfly

He turned into a beautiful butterfly

This was an outstanding show. Perfect for young children and just as great for my nearly four-year-old.

I’ll give it five stars *****.

Tickets provided for review for The Argus.


Review: Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught

Mouths of Lions show Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught

Mouths of Lions show Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught

Brighton Fringe has a bumper set of shows aimed at the under fives and out first outing took me and the wee one to The Warren.

It is amazing what you can do with a load of shipping containers, and The Warren turned a few into the Studio 2 theatre space.

Mouths of Lions production, Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught, is an award-winning show pitched at young children up to aged seven.

It was a delightful romp with a great deal of audience participation.

Dr Zeiffal is a member of the Hippo Institute following sightings across the UK.

Despite her efforts she has never seen a hippo in the wild.

She has a multitude of equipment displayed on stage in the special equipment area.

It has great packaging. Always have great packaging.

Quality performance

Georgia Murphy’s performance was very engaging prompting an enthusiastic response from the young audience.

It’s a two-person show, with Oliver Weatherly taking on the role of hippo and Dr Zeigal.

There was a great deal of mischief surrounding his cheeky hippo.

This is a very physical slapstick show, with lots of running around and the main characters leaving the theatre box shreeking with enthusiasm.

After carrying out some research I discovered the two stars trained a the prestigous clown school École Philippe Gaulier. You could tell by the quality of their performance.

Delighting children

My daughter is nearly four and was captivated for the whole hour.

She joined in with the pantomimesque “he’s behind you” elements.

There is a rather chaotic ending and some of the children went on stage to help Dr Zeiffal.

Seeing her work around them was quite delightful.

But as she said: “Keep calm. Please stay in your seats. Everything is under control.”

The final performance is on Monday, May 8 at 4pm. Tickets are £9.

I give it **** (four stars)

Elliot and the Enormous Sneeze is their second show at The Warren: Studio 2 from June 2-4.

Tickets were provided via The Argus for a separate review.

See the list of 23 events at Brighton Fringe for the under-fives I curated for Officréche.

Addicted to ParkRun

Spot the Dennis! #hovepromparkrun #BM10

My ParkRun inspiration

A post shared by Sarah Booker (@nimmykins) on Apr 9, 2017 at 12:39am PDT

When I put my mind to it I can do things.

This year I’ve cut out dairy after saying goodbye to cheese at Christmas, and in January took up ParkRun.

So far I’ve attended ten events, completed eight runs (power walks) and volunteered once.

I shaved three minutes and 24 seconds of my first time.

Like a loon I’ve signed up to the 2018 BM10. I know I can finish within the required two hours.

Pretty sure I’ll be last. I’m nearly always second to last, but I DON’T CARE!

Nearly every week it feels great to take part.

What makes ParkRun so special is the positive attitude.

People cheer me along at the back. I cheer people lapping me.

This weekend I scanned the finishers (I’m not well).

Some of these people are really fast, but what made it very ParkRunny was the number of them who thanked me for volunteering.

It makes you feel warm inside.

This week I start my introduction to running course with Brighton and Hove Women’s Running Club.

I feel better in myself and much healthier.