This charming and adventurous children’s show is fun to participate in from start to finish.
Based on Sean Taylor’s 2016 book, this instantly charming and creative production of Where the Bugaboo Lives has plenty to offer young audiences on this fun adventure.
Directed with great playfulness by Samantha Lane, the story follows the adventures of siblings Floyd and Ruby as they explore the dark valley behind their house. Filled with mysterious creatures including the scary (but of course comically designed) Bugaboo, audiences decide which path the pair take on their adventure – all shown through wonderfully designed miniature set designs and puppets that capture the imagination. The story is led by the wonderful performance of narrator Roberta Livingston, who brings the story and characters to life in a really engaging and friendly way.
Given the flexibility of the story and the number of options that Floyd and Ruby can take to get home, no two shows are ever the same – meaning that it is worth watching again to see what would have happened if the choices from the audience had been different. Do you go up or down hill? Do you go down the winter or summer path? Either way, each of the choices introduce the audience to some wonderfully designed and intricate puppets and some wonderful scenery that is certain to enthral young audiences.
But as well as the story and the characters, those watching will also be fascinated with the use of puppets that are all held and moved in a different ways and given the size of them it is an amazing mechanical achievement as well. I particularly loved the use of shadow puppetry highlighting what Floyd dreams of, lit perfectly to create a magical atmosphere.
At just 45 minutes long, the story remains clear and concise that means that there won’t be anyone fidgeting in the audience with a good amount of interactive elements to keep the show nicely balanced out.
Throughout it all there is certainly plenty to enchant and fascinate young audiences that reflects what the Little Angel Theatre is so good at – delivering an engaging story with plenty of creativity.
By Emma Clarendon
Where the Bugaboo Lives is available to watch until 2 May 2021. It will also be embarking on a short digital tour between 27-31 March (to Nottingham Lakeside Arts and CAST Doncaster), and 6-7 April (at The Albany).