Frann Preston-Gannon’s superb ‘The Journey Home’ has been given an extra sprinkle of magic in its moving puppetry and lyrical adaptation by the Little Angel Theatre.
Highly relevant on Earth Day and every day this is a play that can move young and old to tears in empathy at the tragedy humans foist on those we share the planet with. The show follows Polar Bear on his journey to find a new home because his ice is melting. Along the way he meets Panda, Orangutan and Elephant and together they journey across the seas to find a new safe place to live that will not follow the fate of their previous homes through expansive man.
There is a ‘Bambi’ moment in a powerful shadow play which my little boy did find hard to emotionally manage, the recommended age is 3 + and parents should be prepared for this. However, the wonderful engagement that the whole audience feels with the believable characters through the combined brilliant puppets and acting of the puppeteers builds into a relationship that can be taken away from the theatre, with a powerful pact between parent and child to become ‘animal protectors’.
Even though little ones are used to sad and bad,this is not feel good theatre, there is no happy ending, it is beautiful and powerful but for those that know the book when the Dodo comes to have a quiet word with the animals you do feel full of despair at their future loss unless serious action is taken NOW.
By putting on this play the Little Angel Theatre recognise that parents shouldn’t be shying away from engaging their children in understanding the uglier parts of their world, rather doing their best to help them understand and take responsibility in protecting it together. Hopefully the spirit of ‘protecting the animals from the naughty people’ will be contagious enough for parents to keep their ‘promises’ made to their children.
As the environmental campaigner Tony Juniper recently wrote “the narrative should be changed of people versus nature, and investment in the conservation and recovery of the natural world should be at the heart of a strategy to promote national health, wealth and security”.
Bravo Little Angel Theatre!
Visit Frann Preston Gannon’s official website