Edinburgh Fringe 2009
"Gorgonzola! Jump on the bus, meet a bullfrog blues band, a clapped-out bison, a forgetful wolf, and a most unusual mouse." promises the blurb. What we have is an engaging, imaginative adventure for children, from Unpacked.
Refreshing energetic theatre that jumps between the worlds of live performers and puppets with ease and wit. This show lifts your spirits and proves that theatre for children can work on many levels. The audience are taught how to jump into the unknown like the hero in the story – Jumping Mouse.
This very playful script based on a Native American folk tale, skilfully guides us on Little Mouse’s journey, as he follows his calling to adventure, meeting challenges along the way in his search for something bigger.
Unpacked Theatre gives us some fantastic character portrayals; the scary wolf as an exercise fanatic striving to do his personal best. The old bison character is doing his wild youth dance and the mad American frog couple who dance and sing their advice to Little Mouse, rock and roll style.
My 4 years old daughter’s favourite, was when all the mice began to eat paper shredding it to bits. The sheer silliness of the character’s actions and physicality of their performances delights everyone in the audience and we are never forgotten, fully engaged all the time with the shows story; sometimes splashed, at other times invited to join in creating delightful rhymes.
The use of chalk, ladders and the flying bus wheels gave taste to a more elegant overall design, which I look forward to seeing more developed. I would love to see more of the Boy puppet and his friendship with the little mouse and neither my daughter or I could quite work out why the little mouse had to give away his eyes.
Little Mouse exudes warmth, which is boosted hugely by the use not only of live music but a live sound maker on stage who created treats for our ears.
We didn’t want to get off the magical bus ride with the brave Little Mouse and his Scottish bus driver narrator, on their journey away from the city into the big unknown.