Birmingham, West Midlands
THE FROG WHO WOULDN’T HOP
by Peter Wynne-Willson with Lee Ji Hyun.
Moby Duck Theatre Tour.
Runs: 1hr: no interval
Review: Jan Pick 14 November.
Froggie adventures delight. One of the best.
This production, the second collaboration between Moby Duck Company andSouth Korea’s Sadari Theatre, delivers a magical mix of music, laughter and tears. With a cast of two, plus a musician, Moby Duck hold their 4+ audience enthralled for an hour – no mean feat when the majority of that audience is under 7 and sitting in a school hall.
Gregory is the naughty green frog who always does the opposite to what he is told; his story, based on an old Korean folk tale, is written and performed in both companies’ languages. The audience is drawn into the story of the lessons Gregory learns, and the consequences of his disobedience as he ventures into the scary mountains. It is inspiring, funny, and ultimately very moving, with plenty of audience interaction along the way.
Olly Shapley’s set is simple, a few lily pads and a screen, with the musical instruments at one side, but it works beautifully, and with the help of a few puppets – a rather sinister mole and a very noisy snake – Sun Young Im as Gregory, and Terina Talbot as his mother weave a magical web to catch their audience. Helped along by the musical talents of Oliver Armstrong, the evening is nicely judged in length and well-paced. It is one of the best childrens’ theatre plays I have seen in a very long time and although near the end of its run here in England, hopes to be touring South Korea.
Performers: Sun Young Im, Terina Talbot, Oliver Armstrong.
Director: Peter Wynne Willson.
Designer: Olly Shapley.