Review from ‘Reviewgate’

by Peter Wynne-Willson

Moby Duck Theatre Company Tour
Runs: 1hr No interval
Review: Jan Pick 28 February at Devonshire Junior School Smethwick

Where the land meets the sea.

Hats off to the ‘Young Promoters’ of Devonshire Junior School, Smethwick, for organising a magical evening’s theatre in their school hall.

Their chosen show was ‘Two Bum Bun’ presented by Moby Duck Theatre Company. Based on a traditional Korean story, ‘Su-Gung-Ga’ or ‘The Turtle and The Rabbit’, it celebrates the values of difference and friendship. Re-written and directed by Peter Wynne-Willson this version is set on a beach, where the sun is not shining and two children, Toggy - a beautiful and imaginative performance by Yoon Won Hye - and Kobi, played with great panache by Dan Hagley, need to be entertained. Their mother, Susan, in a terrific performance by Lorna Laidlaw, has to find a story that will amuse and entertain two children with very different interests and enthusiasms, and so the ‘Two Bum Bun’ begins.

As Laidlaw cleverly weaves the narrative, the three actors create and act out the story. The dragon king (Laidlaw) under the sea is ill and only the liver of a rabbit (Yoon Won Hye) can cure him. Turtle (Dan Hagley) bravely volunteers to go in search of this strange and unknown creature and sets off for the land. As he journeys he calls on the audience to describe a rabbit for him, and to save him from a fierce ‘tiger’ that rampages up and down the aisles of the hall to catch him for its supper. When Turtle finally finds Rabbit a friendship develops despite their many differences and they are able to help each other. As for the two bums ……… it’s what every clever rabbit needs to get out of a fix!

The simple but effective set is made up of beach-style flotsam and jetsam, bits of driftwood, decking, rope, and blue cloths which open out as huge fans to make the billowing waves of the sea. The skill and enthusiasm of the actors creates an enchanted world for their audience and for one hour we were not in a school hall in Smethwick, but out there, with them, ‘where the land meets the sea’.