Monday, March 29, 2010

Giraffes Can't Dance

All the way from the UK, The Blunderbus Theatre Company .

Having read the story, Giraffes Can't Dance to some kids at one of my storytelling sessions, it was a wonderful opportunity to catch Gerald in the 'flesh' at the musical play. Also, it was the grandest, not-to -be -missed chance to take a few residents from Selangor Cheshire Home for a special outing with my Sunshine friend, Leni. The last time we were out for a puppet performance was when The Man Who Planted Trees was playing at the old venue of Actors Studio in Bangsar.

The specially outfitted van can only accommodate 6 residents, three in wheelchairs and 3 walking aided with a frame and a caretaker. We met them at the entrance of PJLA really well ahead of time at 9.15 am.

They say the early bird catches the worm?

A ticket each, all in jubilant mood. Thanks to Linda of SCBWI (Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators) for offering 2 tickets to Leni and me.

Count us in! Anyone can be a kid all over again!

Everyone was excited. They were assured of a truly memorable enjoyment, even without my seeing it live yet. I like the book so much to stake my claim !!

We were the first in for ease of seating arrangments. The residents in their wheelchairs were comfortably placed by the usherers. Before long, troops of kids, really little ones, hand in hand, filed into the auditorium. Soon the hall was filled with lively chatter - the kids in school uniforms, were bubbling with excitement. It was so infectious. The teachers tried to calm them as some were standing on the seats. The kids were from 6 different schools.

In Giraffes Can't Dance, the cast brings to life Giles Andreae's spirited story with their huge, handsome handcrafted puppets. Together with the lyrical prose of Giles Andreae, the play injects music and lively movements to capture our hearts.

Shy Gerald who towers above all the heads of the animals finds it hard to fit in among the jungle animals. He is quite alone. Why? His bandy legs do not make him a favourite. How the animals mock him when he shows up at the annual Jungle Dance. While the warthogs, baboons, chimpanzees, lions boogie away, poor Gerald cuts a sad and lonesome creature.

'Giraffes can't dance, you silly fool. Oh, Gerald, don't be daft!' Luckily, a cricket friend encourages Gerald to do it his own way . Says the cricket, ' But sometimes when you're different / You need a different song.' Gerald just needs to find his own beat and tune to dance to. A miracle happens when Gerald begins to believe in himself and dances marvellously.

There was great interactivity with the kids by the antics of the cast - Gerald hiding among them, a butterfly hovering on someone's head, playful chimpanzees squirting water with water pistols at them and, oh! some playful messing of someone's head too!

I was caught to 'party' and dance with the animals. Don't ask me what animal I was . I just danced like a pro! I tickled the chimpanzee who came by. Yes, I got squirted at!! I touched the soft wings of the butterfly. See, I'm really a kid !

The play was so vibrant, fun and colourful. The huge puppets got a high five from me for props. The kids got to see the person behind the puppet as he was not all covered up from head to toe. For the young audience of 4 -8 years old, the play was just right, with a simple storyline and enough engaging little bits of storytelling interspersed to make it so wholesome.

Theatre for kids is no kid's play! Catch the odd adults (usually parents, grandmas ) and they are living their childhood moments all over again! As for the residents of Selangor Cheshire Home, shaking hands and giving Gerald a high five sealed off the great moments rarely enjoyed. Their wide grins and thumbs -up sign said it all. So, bring on more kids' theatre !

Show's over but Gerald is TOPS!

Penny, in a special moment with Claire Hills who is our loveable Gerald the Giraffe


  1. Hi! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! This show seems as if it would bring out the child in evryone! Your blog is very interesting and I'll sure be back :D


  2. Wow!!
    I wish I could see that theatre
    its from England I read thats not far away :)))))
    And also handcrafted puppets and funny animals
    It looks
    I think it was FANTASTIC :-)

  3. That's awesome, Keats, that the residents of Cheshire Home got to watch the play too! I am sure everyone enjoyed it tremendously. The puppets in the flyer look amazing! I still think the moral should be "everyone loved the giraffe and wanted to be his friend because of who he is, not because of what he could do for them"! ;o)

  4. Bye, bye for a while!
    I have a relocation break - back blogging from Morocco in April when we have internet connection!

    Take care!


  5. I simply loved this book the very first time I read it. Marvellous!

  6. What a cute story and a fun-filled day. I had a wonderful day too today:) Thank you for your warm hospitality.

  7. Hi
    Sreddy Yen, thank you for dropping by too. Hope your studies are coming along fine.

    Anya, the puppets were huge and the giraffe was quite a weight - head and legs to manipulate. great work!

    ~Covert_operations'78~, yes, it was great . when we had our activity session with them days after the outing, they were still beaming away!!

    BLOGitse, take care and all the best in your relocation. have a good break and thanks so much for dropping by.

    Anne Lyken-Garner, a good read and so well illustrated too.

    Ocean Girl,glad to have had your company. sure great to be in touch!

  8. Looks like a great fun event, and I have to get that book. It looks beautiful!

  9. I'm going to look for the book also (thank goodness for Amazon!). Looks like a fun play, and a nice story.

  10. Hi
    Icy BC, it's a great book , so well illustrated. Go get it! Have a good day!

    Gran, Amazon, it is!! have a good read.

  11. I would love to take my children to a musical play like this. What a very special moment to meet with Claire in personal. Have a wonderful week, my dear

  12. Hi
    Rosidah Abidin, Claire was really nice. She went round thanking the residents and had conversations with them. have a good weekend yourself too.

  13. That looks like such a remarkable event!
    I used to be scared of puppets. :)

  14. Hi Keats! Lovely post! For all it means!!

    Thanks for your support to Blogtrotter Two, now departing Miami by air; my Easter egg for you... ;). Have a great weekend!!

  15. Shall We Dance? ~ Bananaz Gere. Haha great post. tQ

  16. Thank you for your comment. Theatre captures the hearts of all, doesn't it?

  17. Hi everyone, sorry for the delay in replying. The computer was down - thus no activity:(

    Rosey Pollen, these puppets show the performer so it was good.

    Trotter, Happy Easter to you and your family too. Off to another wonderful destination, eh?

    Bananaz,I would love to dance with you! Where is the party?? Thanks for your laughter and good humour.

    Tabor,thanks for visiting too. Our local theatre is getting more exciting, so that's good. I'm looking forward to LaughFest at PJLA too.


Great to have you popping in!