Barb Jungr’s bright new show for children aged from three revels in that miracle of the natural world, butterfly metamorphosis.
A scene from The Fabulous Flutterbys at Little Angel Theatre Photo: Tristram Kenton
The bug-to-beauty pupation process forms the framework for a puppet musical that extols loyalty, courage, stoicism and a hearty appetite with pleasing harmony and wit.
Jungr’s crisp and sparkling lyrics are ripely matched to the plumply segmented hand-held puppets playing Hamish and Grace, munching their way through a rescue mission after one of their number is tumbled from her leaf.
The entomological puppet parade the pupae meet on their journey include vibrant dancing ants and malevolent wasps, all given glorious voice and perfectly timed moves by their three human aides.
Musical accompaniment, provided by Arran Glass on acoustic guitar, forms the gentlest of soundscapes for the adventure. Laugh-out-loud moments are plentiful, thanks to Jungr’s off-beam sense of humour, which swoops from intriguing scientific factoids to wacky flights of fantasy. Anne Tilbey’s moveable feast of a set creates leaves to dangle from, a mysterious pond and a sinister strawberry patch, which the multitasking puppeteers position and whisk away while singing sweetly.
What is more, Roger Lade’s enchanting glittery-eyed puppets, especially our caterpillar heroes, timid Hamish and sassy Grace, who put on an impressive growth spurt during the course of the show, are utterly, butterfly fabulous.