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Too Many Penguins review at Macrobert Theatre Stirling

Cosy and enchanting, Frozen Charlotte’s devised production for Macrobert might be aimed at under-threes, but there are more than enough tweaks from designer Katy Wilson to keep parents engaged too.

Too Many Penguins builds on a relationship and environment that will be familiar to its audience – whether they recognise it as an allegory for parent-child relationship or not.

Samuel Jameson is a gentle but fastidious Mr Polaro – a polar bear who likes the orderly things in life. Nicola Jo Cully is the hyperactive young Penguina, who lives in a tent next door.

The pace is excellent. In the Macrobert’s tree house room an immersive set allows the audience to sit and crawl around on soft, warm, snow-white coverings as Mr Polaro goes about his morning routine.

Penguina’s waking – speaking a cod-Italian – provides an injection of excitement.

But it is the arrival of a wave of penguins to spend Christmas in Penguina’s tent that grabs most attention. The hand-crafted, toy-sized penguins arrive by balloon, car and boat to take over the stage – their manipulation is just clever enough to appear magical.

While the result is rather lost on the pre-toddler audiences, judiciously chosen music and the gentle pace ensure that they are not an intrusion.

Production Information

Macrobert Theatre, Stirling, December 7-24

Frozen Charlotte, Brenda Murphy
Heather Fulton
Frozen Charlotte Productions
Cast includes
Samuel Jameson, Nicola Jo Cully
Running time

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