Long Nose Puppets: Penguin, from the children’s book by Polly Dunbar. Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham.
Polly Dunbar’s warm and funny modern classic is brought to life by a talented trio from Long Nose Puppets, of whom Dunbar is a founding member. The story is padded out with catchy songs courtesy of Tom Gray from Gomez, which capture beautifully the imagination and wonder of the book . Given a gift of a penguin who just will not talk no matter what, we follow Ben’s ups and downs to a magically fun conclusion, which enchants the audience young and old. The emotions felt by young Ben – confusion, anger, excitement, and most importantly love, are explored tenderly and with humour. I enjoyed hearing my four year old daughter belly laugh at the raspberry blowing and watching her eyes widen at the aliens in outer space. Most of all she loved meeting the puppets at the end. My personal favourite – the Lion with a New York twang and laid back swagger. The run at the Ropetackle was sadly short but this show and others by Brighton-based Long Nose Puppets will be appearing in the near future so keep your eyes peeled. Highly recommended!