Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Sophie reads about an exciting creature called a Penguinpig on the internet. Filled with delight and intrigue she sets off alone on an adventure to find the adorable creature, leading her to the zoo. But what will she find inside? A fun-filled cautionary tale told through puppetry, that is both educational and highly entertaining. A story that is accessible on many levels, Penguinpig has plenty of engaging charm whilst carrying an important message for older children to consider with their grown-ups.
Spike and Sophie are ready to take the audience on a journey of discovery. Along the way everyone will learn a little about the Internet and how it sometimes gets things wildly wrong. Geared towards the young, this story is a compelling cautionary tale that is relatable to children and their parents. Not only does Penguinpig introduce the topic through Spike and Sophie, two approachable and fun puppet characters but it also is an excellent way for parents to open up conversations about the Internet in a gentle way.
Sophie, a puppet of a sweet little girl character narrates the story through dialogue and song, while her friend, Spike a streamlined cleverly designed shaggy dog puppet explores everywhere and is inseparable from Sophie. Two puppeteers bring Sophie and Spike to life as well as several other fascinating puppets, such as very tall parents, a giraffe, an elephant, and birds – to name a few.
Enthralling original music underscores most of the show. Both puppeteers voice the puppets with words or animal sounds effectively.
The set is colourful and includes a puppet theatre with the front opening shaped like a smartphone screen and blocks in front of the theatre where Sophie and Spike play.
Beautifully designed hand-drawn shadow objects and puppets play behind the screen of this theatre.
Sophie has a tablet and loves looking at the images and searching for different places, at this point parents or teachers should know that this is part of the point being made in the story and the downfall of trusting the Internet comes out near the end of the show. This important point could benefit from a little more time, but perhaps leaving this as an entry point for grown ups to take over in appropriate discussions is a good plan.
A charming song about wanting a friend is well performed by one of the puppeteers. Dialogue and interactions with Sophie and her mum are real and hold the attention of the youngest in the audience the day I saw the show. Colourful shadow scenery passes by in a fun car ride, which is nicely animated by the performers.
In all this is an attractive, well thought out and designed show set to lovely music, that will appeal to young children and accompanying grown ups – and it provides important information, too!