A Moose in the Hoose, Brunton Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Sonsie Music
Joanna Nicholson
Joanna Nicholson (writer and clarinettist), Simon Rennard (bassoonist)
Running time

Sonsie Music’s adaptation of A Moose in the Hoose adds up to some finely tuned children’s storytelling.

Itchy Coo’s popular children’s counting book in Scots, A Moose in the Hoose, written by Scots language activists Matthew Fitt and James Robertson, has been ‘musicalised’ by Sonsie Music.

Using the ‘magical power’ of two woodwind instruments, the clarinet and the bassoon, musicians Joanna Nicholson and Simon Rennard take the children through the numbers from 1 to 1000 (making some imaginative leaps from 20 to 100, and 100 to 1000!). Each number has an accompanying rhyme from the book that teaches that number as well as the name of an animal in Scots, all interpreted simultaneously in music.

Weans are invited to sit in a semi-circle on the floor of the upstairs Esk Room in the Brunton Theatre. This and the informal pre- show playfulness create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere even before the show gets underway, providing that essential, but sometimes omitted, element of a children’s show - audience engagement. A fanfare filled with fun, jazzy notes and simple harmony start the storytelling in engaging, happy style.

The narrative is in English with a Scots accent, Joanna Nicholson doing a braw job of speaking the Scots text from a giant version of the book. Frae yin tae a thoosand, the audience learns about weel kent beasties like coos, craws and puddocks (cows, crows and frogs) and less weel kent like brocks (badgers), bubbly jocks (turkeys) and hurcheons (hedgehogs).

The moose of the title is nicely introduced as a Scots word with Simon Rennard donning some moose antlers and being given the metaphorical wrong gong! From joukin trouts to sleekit selkies and glaikit yowes, the counting is represented with eager participating audience members holding up giant numbers in primary colours.

Interaction, fun and education are to the fore throughout this utterly child friendly show. Sonsie Music is eponymously pleasant, cheery, hearty, friendly and impressive, with the infinite patience required when dealing with young children. Their shows are written with supporting Curriculum for Excellence in mind. Happen the adults learn something too. No bad!

Show was 31st December 2013, 11am

Tickets £4 adult, £3 child, £1 baby

Age recommend 3 - 6