City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Imaginate Festival: Potato Needs A Bath Review


By Justine Blundell - Posted on 15 May 2011

5
Show Details
Company: 
Shona Reppe Puppets
Production: 
Shona Reppe & Andy Manley (Creators); Shona Reppe (Designer); Dave Trouton (Composer & Arranger); Tamlin Wiltshire (Technical Manager); Alison Brown (Costume Designer and Maker); Alistair McIntosh of Joint Design, Glenrothes (Set Builder); Paul Fitzpatrick & Louise Gilour Wills, Catherine Wheels Company (Producers/Administrators).
Performers: 
Shona Reppe
Running time: 
45mins

Shona Reppe Puppets was established in 1996 and has since been touring Scotland - and the world - performing to sell-out audiences and picking up several awards on the way. Shona charmed and delighted a packed house at the Churchill Theatre with her juicy cocktail of fruit and vegetables.

It is Potato’s birthday and all his friends have been invited to his birthday party. Shona is busy cleaning the house, making party hats for all Potato’s wholesome friends and checking that all the guests are ready.

Onion (Spanish, of course) is practising his guitar, the cherry twins are fighting (again!) and peach is so excited she has been bouncing on the bed and bumped her head - and she bruises so easily! We are introduced to a male and female pear who met at a conference and now have a son, William and are told of the ‘fabulous’ Miss Aubergine who will we meet later.

Potato is covered in mud and keeps avoiding having a bath but eventually he is clean and ready and the party begins. They play pass-the-parcel and Potato even has a cake. Before Potato goes to bed Shona lovingly smears him with mud once more and fondly kisses him good night – leaving big muddy prints on her cheeks.

The staging of this hugely entertaining piece was ingenious and magical – quite literally - with potato vanishing at one point, turning up later inside the last wrapper of the pass-the-parcel. There were various sleights of hand that had the audience gasping in surprise, wondering how she did it – and what she might do next.

Set in the kitchen, there is a cabinet of drawers in which live all the fruit and vegetables. Each one was personalised: Miss Aubergine’s was hung with dazzling jewellery and Green Pepper had a photo of Red Pepper up on his wall. There was a flour tub that, when opened, turned out to be a gleaming bathroom – Plum used the toilet beautifully (although she forgot to wipe) but once Potato had finished with it, it was more reminiscent of that scene from Trainspotting.

The children and adults alike were totally engaged and enthralled. Aimed primarily at 2-4 year olds, I defy anyone of any age not to be entertained by this; it was witty, clever and superbly performed. This is the first time I have seen Shona Reppe but I will make absolutely certain that it won’t be the last.

Show ran 10-15 May 2011 at the Imaginate Festival