Everyone knows the story but the Very Hungry Caterpillar has only just hit theUKstage, thanks to the Mermaid Theatre Company of Nova Scotia. I took Freddie, 3, and Beatrice, 2, to see it at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.
The show tells the Eric Carle stories Little Cloud and The Mixed-Up Chameleon before finishing with the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It uses ‘black light’ (or UV light) to make the puppets and sets glow in the darkened theatre and hide the puppeteers entirely from view. The puppets themselves are very faithful to the original illustrations in the book.
Despite having no idea what a Chameleon was (Bea shouted “Frog” repeatedly when it came on stage) the audience of toddlers and preschoolers sat rapt through all three stories, although a few little voices could be heard asking where the star of the show was! It is a “no Shhshing” show and a chorus of little voices joined in with the telling of the caterpillar story.
Afterwards there was a brief Q & A where the puppeteers showed the children the puppets and explained how it was done. The older children seemed to love this but it slightly spoils the magic for the little ones.
Bea and Freddie have been lucky enough to see lots of plays and shows but this was the first that’s really engaged them both so much so that they are still talking about it days later.
See if the The Very Hungry Caterpillar is visiting a theatre near you.