Moominland Midwinter at the egg, Bath

Moominland Midwinter - egg theatre - (ref8) - Photo credit Nick Spratling - © Moomin Characters ™BATH’S show for very small children and their families this Christmas is Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter, adapted for the egg stage by Hattie Naylor for Horse and Bamboo.

The theatre company has built up a reputation for its delightful and beautifully told stories, using puppets and multi-media.

At the egg, until Sunday 12th January, on a set designed by Tom Rogers, five actors morph into the famous characters from Jansson’s books, and it’s only seconds before you don’t notice the people at all as the voices are clearly those of the Moomins and their friends and neighbours.

The Moomins have been likened to Winnie the Pooh, serving up philosophy for children in an unforgettable way.

In this story, Moomintroll wakes early during the winter hibernation, looks out and sees his world white and glistening. After vain attempts to wake his sleeping parents, he ventures out into a new landscape, full of excitement, adventure and threat.

The marvellous puppets, made by co-director Alison Duddle and her team, play with perspective as the characters get larger and smaller and the story unfolds.

You will meet the wise Too-Ticky, the vain squirrel with a wonderful tail, the difficult Little My, the bragging Hemulen and a dreadful little grey thing that’s OK as long as he’s confined to a cabinet. The problems start when you let him out!

There’s a scary moment when the Gloak arrives, but, as always happens to Gloaks, an encounter with the fire soon sends him away again.

For those brought up on the Moomins, this is an authentic adaptation, right down to the slopes and the buildings and the moon. Clever back projection moves the seasons on, and there’s enough action and anticipation to hold the attention of even the most TV addicted tiny.

The performers are Seamas Carey, Morag Cross, Adam Fuller, Zoe Hunter and Mark Whittaker, and they inhabit their characters with love and great puppetry skills.

It all lasts about 110 minutes, with an interval when the family can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in the egg foyer, all decked out for Christmas.

Highly recommended for existing and new Moomin fans, who might just want the rest of the books to find out how Moomintroll gets on.


Photographs by Nick Spratling

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