Edinburgh Fringe 2016
“A classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm reimagined for today. Brush Theatre’s clever and humorous production tells the story of a handsome prince who is changed into a frog.” Wonderfully performed through physical storytelling and puppetry. This will delight young children and their families.
Brush Theatre, from Korea presents a new children’s show this year, after the very successful “Brush”, first presented at the 2014 EdFringe festival. True to form for this company, The Tiniest Frog Prince in the World is of high quality in performance and design. Many know the frog prince story, but this version is produced with puppets, live characters and a special transforming cabinet full of surprises. The main language spoken by the characters is Korean, but there are enough English phrases interspersed at the key points of the story, so everyone can follow. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to hear the sounds of another language and appreciate the creative work from another culture.
This entertaining, warm story is based on the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, where a prince is changed into a frog, which must be kissed by a real princess for him to return to a prince. There’s also a mischievous witch involved who is comical and clownish. Several of the characters are played by small simple marionette puppets as well as by actors. The cabinet of surprises is the main stage area for the puppets, some of which are very small, however, video projects them onto a huge screen for all to view easily. The use of this technology is fascinating because this adds a different dimension to the storytelling and it’s not only to enlarge the puppets.
Three actors perform and manipulate the puppets moving from character to narrator to puppeteer. Each of the actors is excellent; they are refined and welcoming, use their physicality, friendly eye contact and changing voices to tell the story. Visually, the cabinet is a fascination unto itself, not very big, but detailed with a very pretty backdrop, the size of a home aquarium. The costumes are also nicely designed, colourful and stylish. There’s a lot to look at and the story moves along at a comfortable pace, with sound effects and dynamic movement along the way.
A fourth performer sits just in front of the stage and adds musical flourishes, interesting sound effects and he also works the video camera that projects part of the action on the large screen.
Sensitively acted, fun with a gentle humour, The Tiniest Frog Prince in the World is a charming and imaginative show that will delight young children and their families.