We sent one of our EWers to review The Very Hungry Caterpillar and friends onstage at DUCTAC, MOE and they highly recommend your l
14 January 2017| Last updated on 31 March 2019
If you grew up anytime after 1969, chances are you’ve heard of or read The Very Hungry Caterpillar books. Written and illustrated by Eric Carle, these children’s books educate young ones (including myself, not very long ago) through a series of colourful illustrations and captivating characters. So it was only fitting that I jumped at the chance of watching an adaptation when it came to Dubai!
Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, this adaptation has gathered critical acclaim at their countless shows abroad and the Dubai edition didn’t disappoint! It was held at the DUCTAC Centrepoint Theatre in Mall of the Emirates and was thus very easy to find. DUCTAC is a pioneer in the local theatre scene and the organisation was no less than perfect. We were showed our seats a few minutes before the play and it began on time effortlessly. Once seated, I could almost sense the anticipation in the eyes of all the children at the theatre (and mind you, it was packed to its brim!) as they sat with arms folded and eyes glued to the stage.
Now if you’re familiar with the premise, The Very Hungry Caterpillar series are short educational stories, webbed together by a central character. The theatre adaptation of the books chose 4 stories and used close to 75 puppets to create a solid hour of exhilarating performances. Starting off things was The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, using colours and props fit for an internationally acclaimed play. The children were in splits, and the actors continued to keep the spirits up by interacting with our large little audience using a range of masterfully created puppets and wonderful use of scenic lighting!
Next up was the story of Mister Seahorse, set in the glorious premise of the underworld. It was great to watch the entire theatre transform, with a superb selection of ambient music and mesmerising props complete with very talented actors who didn’t miss a beat! We also got a quick lesson on different types of fish and it was lovely watching the little ones 'oooh' and 'aaah' everytime a new fish came on stage!
The next story was that of The Very Lonely Firefly, an adorable little creature in search for his friends, teaching children and adults alike what it is like to maintain social relationships. Cleverly demonstrated using light, this story was a visual treat for the audience and kept us at the edge of our seats! And finally, the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar made an appearance under the light of the moon! This story got all the kids roaring with excitement as the lovable caterpillar chomped its way through a range of edibles, finally transforming into a butterfly after an enjoyable 50 minutes of colour, music, light and giggles! The actors are well trained and carry the story amazingly well; encouraging children to participate in sing song parts and guessing games.
All in all, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is a great opportunity to introduce children to the world of theatre and can definitely be enjoyed by adults too!