The first tale is “The Frog Prince” from Germany which is a familiar story. The lesson being: keep your promises. The second tale is from Scandinavia, “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, where a troll living under a bridge is outsmarted by three brother goats. The third and, by far, most popular folk tale is “The Three Little Pigs” from England where the industrious pig’s brick house survives the huffing and puffing of the wolf, who proves more popular than scary with the kids.
The simple set with traditional puppet stage has Mr. Allison hidden beneath holding up the various puppets. He uses a microphone and is quite a voice actor speaking the dialogue of all the characters in the show, as well as managing the sound effects. This non-threatening performance is well-paced and age-appropriate for younger children (ages 5 and up) who have no trouble listening attentively or accepting and relating to the puppets as real, even interacting with the stage characters. It is clever enough so it can also be appreciated by adults willing to sit back let the inanimate objects come to life.
After the performance Mr. Allison came out to meet the audience and explain the types of puppets used (rod, string, and hand puppets). The variety of puppet styles adds to the fun, and is even more impressive when the attention to detail becomes more evident. The Grey Seal Puppets perform nationally and Charlotte is fortunate to have these high-caliber puppet performances to appreciate. Review by Ann Marie Oliva
Ann Marie Oliva is an award-winning playwright. She is the producer/editor of ARTS à la Mode and a judge for the National Youth Theatre Awards. Ann Marie is a member of the Dramatists Guild.