The owl who was afraid of the dark
Published: Fri, 15 Jun 2012
PETALING JAYA: Come join Plop the baby barn owl as he embarks on a journey to overcome his fear of the dark, during a one-week only theatre performance.
From June 19 – 23, Blunderbus Theatre Company is calling on all children aged three to seven to witness Jill Tomlinson’s bestselling book “The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark” come to life.
If you love the book, you will love watching the charming tale retold with an irresistible blend of live theatrical music, storytelling and puppetry against the colourful set of props.
Featuring actors from the United Kingdom, children will be thrilled and find themselves singing to the songs while being surprised by the beautiful props and puppet owls designed by the show’s artistic director Bill Davies himself.
“Reading the book over and over again helped me see Plop’s home in the tree and since it was such an English story, I wanted to reflect the rolling fields and countryside of England on stage,” said Davies over an email interview.
He explained that the village was also specially designed to look as though it was in the distance, so various sizes of Plop the owl puppet could be either seen flying in the distance or up close.
All it took was four months and about six people working on the project to make the set and story come to live, based on Davies’s imagination and ideas he gets as he reads the story.
Davies further explained that the hardest part of it all is determining what size should the owl puppets be and which one to be used throughout different scenes in the play.
“For example, we couldn’t use the large flying Plop to fly over the village as the scale would have been all wrong.
“And in the same way, we couldn’t use the smallest puppet when Plop and Dad are in a scene together because he would have got lost against the actor playing Dad,” he said.
Altogether, there are four different versions of Plop the owl in the show, one live actor who plays him, a medium sized flying puppet, another medium sized sitting owl puppet and a smaller flying puppet.
Davies’s aim was to show the audience the different stages in Plop’s development, from a timid owl who was afraid of the dark to a confident owl who becomes brave enough to go hunting with his dad at night.
To get it right, numerous rehearsals had to be done to help determine which puppet to use and change it when the owl in a particular scene doesn’t play out right.
So, to see how the lively puppets and experience Plop’s world, visit PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One from June 19 to June 23.
Ticket prices start from RM50 and showtimes are at 10am from Tuesday to Friday and on Saturday 11am or 3pm.
Special package prices and school rates are also available, for more information visit www.gardnerandwife.com.