Brought to you by Monkey Baa Theatre Company
Grabbing the rubbish bin lid in her mouth, Mothball, a wombat with attitude, bangs it loudly against the bin that she’s just knocked over. Crash! Bash! Crunch! It’s wickedly loud and the kids find it hilarious. This cheeky wombat has decided that humans are remarkably easy to train and has them wrapped around her little paw.
Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s beloved picture book, Diary of a Wombat, is an affectionate portrayal of a demanding, carrot-loving wombat called Mothball, which captures the imagination. It has now been lovingly transformed by Monkey Baa Theatre Company to bring it to the stage.
Diary of a Wombat review
We were lucky enough to catch a preview of this brand new show recently.
Step into the pages of Diary of a Wombat
What a wonder it is to witness the creativity and skill evident in bringing this wonderful book to life. Director, Eva Di Cesare, and her team have captured the spirit of Diary of a Wombat in this delightful children’s play that is so clever in its simplicity.
The young audience is captivated by two incredibly lifelike wombat puppets with visible puppeteers. Dressed in khaki they look more like wildlife park staff than puppeteers, which helps younger children look past them. But my kids were fascinated with how they made her move and eat and roll on her back looking just like she needed a tummy rub.
When the book is already so familiar, the kids’ hearts are already open. So when Mothball is digging up the garden, building a tunnel or demanding carrots, they understand what is happening despite minimal props and barely any dialogue. It is the music, facial expressions, movements and sound effects that get the laughs.
[Tweet “Mothball needs only look at the audience conspiratorially and the kids are giggling.”]
Fall in love with Mothball
Sent out to the bush to observe wombats, it’s no wonder that the creators have captured the very essence of these lovable creatures in Mothball the puppet. Indeed it almost seems an insult to call Mothball a puppet.
[Tweet “By the end of the play Mothball will have reached into your chest and stolen your heart.”]
The cello captures Mothball’s spirit
And the cello. Oh my goodness the cello. I came out wanting to take up lessons!
Adding a deeper dimension to the production is cellist, Mary Rapp. Like another actor she follows the action around the stage, her deep melodious strokes reflecting and expressing the emotions of the characters beside her. Whether it is a seductive tango when Mothball hedonistically rubs her back against a garden chair, or comical chase music when she pursues the adults for carrots.
What did the kids think?
Sitting in the audience, barely able to stay sitting in his excitement, Mr 7’s face glowed with happiness. Without a princess or fairy in sight, Diary of a Wombat is equally appealing to both boys and girls.
Hamish and Alannah’s Diary of a Wombat review –
Diary of a Wombat essential info
Dates: 18-24 April and 27 May 2017 at Darling Quarter, then throughout 2017 around Australia
Ages: 3-9 yrs
Location: Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre in Sydney and 59 venues around Australia
Tickets and more information: Diary of a Wombat