Saturday, 26 July 2014

Moominsummer Madness

Despite being a huge bookworm as I child, my first real memory of the Moomins is hiding away in the gallery at Daisy and Tom's (a children's department store in Chelsea where I had my Saturday job) one afternoon and enjoying a few chapters about these loveable Swedish/Finnish (they were written by Tove Jansson in Finland but in the Swedish language) 'things'. I call them 'things' because I'm still not really sure what they are. They look hippopotamuses but are clearly not, they're not really trolls either. They're just fun, lovely and surprisingly very human!


Thus there was no way I was turning down the offer from my best friends to spend the afternoon with them and their children at the Polka Theatre to see their summer production, Moominsummer Madness. If you're not familiar with the Polka Theatre, it is a wonderful delight hidden in Wimbledon. It's a theatre just for children - they put on a wealth of shows during the year for toddlers through to adults as well as lots of school and holiday workshops. It's a great thing to have on your doorstep and worth travelling a long way for - my lovely friends coming from Kent and Cambridgeshire.

The show was fantastic and held mine and the children's imagination from start to finish. The play tells the story of the summer when a huge flood swept through Moomin Valley, forcing the Moomins to find a new home in a floating theatre. Disaster strikes as Moomintrool, Little My and Snork Maiden disappear and so Moominpappa and Moominmamma have to find a way to reunite the family.

Told through a mixture of songs and dialogue by four excellent puppeteer actors, the play is beautifully crafted. The songs are magical and are very wistful. I've been humming a few in my head since I left the theatre yesterday. The sets are simple but hugely effective and the gorgeous puppets and handled skilfully. At points I forgot there were people manipulating them so think the effect must be even more dramatic for little ones.



This is definitely worth seeing if you're a young or old fan of the Moomins - steal a child (not literally please, I don't want to be a co-conspirator in court!) to take with you and watch them spellbound by the magic of this enchanting story.

And if you can leave without purchasing your own mini-Moomin then you're definitely made of stronger stuff than me!

Performing at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon until 16th August 
and then on tour throughout the UK.

9 comments:

  1. This sounds excellent - I think I will need to borrow my nephews for this!

    Beccy : Bluebell & Bumpkin

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    1. Definitely worth borrowing them for! I'm thinking of hiring out my godchildren more often! x

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  2. Sounds like a great, fun afternoon!

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    1. Thanks - It was lovely. We all had a great time! x

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  3. I love The Moomins, I would soooo love to see this! Years ago I went with a group of friends to see Winnie the Pooh in theatre - one child and 6 adults. When I met my husband he admitted that he had also been to see it, without any children. I knew then that he was the one for me!!

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    1. What a lovely story! You're definitely the perfect match! x

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  4. I have never heard of the Moomins - must look up! It sounds like you had a lovely day.

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    1. I shall have to see what I can do to rectify this! x

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  5. I passed the Moomin shop in Covent Garden today and thought of you :)

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