Brighton Fringe 2019
Where is Oskar? A fun- filled children’s play at the Brighton Komedia where we join the puppy Oskar on an adventurous search for a playmate.
In a sold-out children’s show at the Komedia we started today getting to know the Swiss puppy Oskar who lives in the snowy hills with grandma, the chickens and the dog Mamabella. Fun-filled and fast- paced this is a sole performance show by Natasha Granger which is based on the picture book by Colin Granger. Natasha Granger superbly impersonates all characters of the plot with the help of her lovingly self-made, big eyed and hand-stuffed animal puppets. Produced by ‘Theatre Fideri Fideria’, the set and its visual probs are simple but effective and Nathasha Granger manages to present a highly energetic and fast moving-piece filled with songs and laughter.
We are lead through Oskar’s quest to find a companion by Granger’s fabulous story-telling skills. She has a natural aptitude for performance and easily involves her young audience in the excitement of the amazing adventures Oskars friends (and enemies) encounter when Oskar runs off in the forest. Her gifted narration, her swift costume changes and her excellent vocal depictions of the different characters guide us through Oskar’s fabulous journey. Using engaging voice alterations, facial expressions and gestures we share the emotions of Oskar and the other animals.
The play is filled with humorous snippets as the scene where the two chickens fight over grandma’s knitting or linguistic jokes as the Fox who suddenly uses some French words to show his superiority. Some of her ideas are rather disarmingly charming as for example when she ‘dusts off ‘ the children and their parents with a real feather duster for a spring clean. She uses a range of different self-written songs to which the audience can sing along as the ‘Snowflake’- or the ‘Dig’- song. The latter describes Oskar and his friends skills to save them from imminent and possibly fatal danger. ‘Dig’ is also used to intonate the plays main theme that ‘making friends is really fun and our digging has just begun’.
Overall this is a very well constructed children’s piece which engages its young (and older) audience with a lot of skill and light-hearted, fun pleasure. My three year old toddler talked about Oskar continuously in the car-drive home and whole- heartedly took to Oskar and his friends’ mission to return home to cuddle up with grandma by the fire. Ms Granger (and Oskar) are the best introduction for children to the world of theatre. These first time experiences with performance and Oskar’s story resonate in the children’s’ and their parents’ hearts. Granger will become a well- known children’s name is they continue to write and devise such well scripted and performed children’s stories and children’s plays.