It’s believed that puppetry has been a great way of showcasing plays since 3000BC and it’s no different in today’s generation. This festive season creates a good platform for puppetry to be used to entertain children. This is exactly the idea behind Beegu, a puppetry show presented by the Dotted Line Theatre and Artsdepot.
Alexis Deacon’s much-loved children’s book is reignited in a wordless show packed with beautiful harmonies, some audience interaction and of course puppetry. The production started with a beautiful representation of space, sound, music and colour. When Beegu’s space ship landed on earth, she starts a personal journey to discover all around her. When she met the rabbits, there was a strong sense of belonging which she had not experience since her time on earth.
I was very impressed with the audience interaction with the rabbits but could not understand why Beegu did not interact with the children in the audience at least. Though this was done after the production was over, I felt it would have been magical to interact with Beegu during the show. When Beegu found herself in the city, the music, lighting and creativity from the performers that accompanied was delightful.
Beegu’s only interaction with humans was with children at the playground and this is where I felt the production missed a great opportunity to really engage some of the children in the audience who were otherwise distracted throughout the production. I felt the mean teacher who took Beegu away from the children could have been developed more as a villain especially during this panto season.
In saying that I felt all four performers Samantha Arends, Wendy Carr, Alex Lehman and Teele Uustani were very engaging and had a real sense of togetherness. They all seemed to harmonise well and though the play centred on puppets, it was almost impossible to avoid admiring their enthusiasm.
In many ways, Beegu reminded me of some of the classic sci-fi TV/films I’ve watched when I was a kid. It pays homage to films like ET and Wall E. The music score also sounded like a cross between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Teletubbies. Which in a funny sense blended really well with the piece. Seeing all these things brought to life on stage really brought a sense of nostalgia. I would definitely recommend this production but it could be better than it is. 4/5
Review written by Jesse Ayertey.
Beegu is currently showing at the Artsdepot Theatre until Saturday 13th December. For more information on the production, visit here…