Otto and the Robin, Poole Lighthouse Studio

Otto & The Robin - Press 4ANGEL Exit is flying high this fest­ive season with its first ever show for children, on in Poole until Christ­mas Eve.

The Dorset-based theatre company that brought Moonfleet, The Secret Garden and The Ballad of Martha Brown to audiences across the region, has devised a delightful tale for the under eight age range and their families and friends. Judging from the reaction of the large school party on the morning I saw the show, they have captured just the right mood.

This devised story follows sessions of improvisation and ideas, and is set in the very Dorset-inspired Piddle under Puddle, a little village where Maggie is the heart of the community.

When she was at school, she had a friend called Otto, and she used to sing and play with him. But since school ended, Otto’s shyness has turned him into a recluse, and Maggie just can’t persuade him to leave his cottage and join in with village events.

Otto & The Robin - Press 6After years of ignored invitations to the Christmas party in the village hall, she decides on one last try.  And, with the aid of a robin, it works.

Oliver Grant makes a loveable and gangly Otto, and the children just love his antics as well as enjoying his banjo playing and songs. Dad dancing  has them giggling with joy.

Angel Exit’s co founder Lynne Forbes is Maggie, as well as the Robin and the magician who makes it all possible. Her favourite bird is the robin, and she’s having fun with the delightful Polly Beestone puppet Robin of the title, giving him real personality.

There’s a whoop of joy when he takes his place as the fairy on the Christmas tree.

Otto and the Robin has lots of opportunity for audience participation as Otto gets braver and braver, Maggie bakes more and more mince pies and the Robin finds more ways to make Otto feel confident.

Performances are most mornings and afternoons between now and 24th December. Visit the Lighthouse website for full details.


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