Young children are said to be the least conscious of differences and disabilities among their peers, but this happy state of affairs quickly passes and Jen Wojtowicz’s thoughtful offering for four-to-eight year-olds bids to bridge the gap.
The plot is simple. Shy young hero Rink is made yet more withdrawn by his habit of growing flowers all over his body when the moon is full. His musical mother is only slightly less embarrassed by all of this than her son, and both take refuge behind frequent use of the garden shears.
Rink is a complete loner at school too, until the arrival of new girl Angelina, whose ambitions to follow her parents as professional dancers is frustrated by having one leg shorter that the other. Their contrasting difficulties eventually bring him out from behind his flora with a determination that she shall indeed go to the ball - or at least the Saturday night school dance.
Perhaps the message that we all have our own quirks is a little sophisticated and hidden away for the lower end of the target age group. But director Daryl Beeton, himself disabled, and his three actors keep it at the heart of the play while at the same time exploring a raft of imaginative visual aids to hold the youngsters’ attention. I particularly liked the idea of expressing the mother’s dialogue solely in musical phrases and the giant school satchel which Rink uses to hide his blushes - and his petunias.