One of the great joys of School Holidays is that they provide an excuse for going to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Fox was showing during these holidays.
The first production of this stunning show was staged in 2015 and my friend and I took all four children to see it. They were, of course, four years younger then, the little one just four years old. Recently we asked them how much they remembered about the show from last time. ‘Not much’ was the consensus. ‘Good,’ we said. ‘It will be quite new to you then.’ At this point the eldest, who had been fourteen at the time, began to dredge up some details from what seemed to her to be a very long time ago. Hearing her recollections sparked the interest of the others. ‘Does the crow die?’ her brother wanted to know. She refused to tell. After a few unsuccessful attempts at making her spill the beans everyone decided they needed to go and see the show again to find out.
With tickets duly booked and all four children in tow my friend and I met at the theatre. There was a mixed audience ranging from toddlers to teenagers but, once the show began, there was not a sound from the auditorium. From the youngest to the eldest, everyone was absolutely mesmerised by the story unfolding on stage. In a combination of dance, drama, music and sound effects this powerful story, adapted from the picture book by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks, wove its timeless spell. My friend and I were blown away, not only by the stunning production of this immensely powerful story, but by the fact that, for 50 minutes, over a hundred people of all ages sat watching in complete silence. Usually, in children’s theatre, at least one kid wants to go to the toilet. But this time no one moved.
At the restaurant afterwards we all agreed. There are some stories that speak to everyone. And this is one of them.