The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes is a popular children’s story and Eva Sampson has directed an innovative piece of theatre via a clever adaptation. Produced by How It Ended, the show has been touring the UK delighting young audiences through the window of a pop-up greenhouse!
The greenhouse itself is a magnificent structure and affords the perfect view for the eager audience members to watch the puppet who plays the gardener in question, operated by Peter Hobday. An astonishingly quiet young crowd watched the story unfold as the little chap (who has the most engaging face) ambles around the garden, picking up litter, planting seeds and making use of a plastic bottle. There is no dialogue per se, but incidental music and precise sound effects move the action along smoothly.
The fact that there is an opportunity for the audience members to get their hands dirty afterwards is a huge asset, interactive theatre at its best. I congratulate Eva Sampson and her team for bringing a beautiful story to life with stunning effect. This idea will surely make theatre more accessible to children, too and hopefully encourage their enthusiasm for live performance.