SPOT THE DIF­FER­ENCE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

ADAPT­ING a beloved chil­dren’s book for the stage has its ben­e­fits but with that also comes ad­di­tional pres­sure.

Nether­lands chil­dren’s the­atre com­pany Theater Terra pre­miered Spot, based on Eric Hill’s play­ful puppy, in Am­s­ter­dam in 2013 and the show has since been per­formed in Bel­gium, the US, Canada, Hong Kong and Ma­cau, with an Aus­tralian tour in Oc­to­ber.

“The fact that the books are well known around the world helps us sell tick­ets,” pro­ducer Michiel Morssinkhof said.

“But with that comes a lot of pres­sure to get the show just right.”

Morssinkhof said the com­pany cre­ated chil­dren’s the­atre that fo­cused on the vis­ual per­for­mance, where ev­ery­thing vis­i­ble on stage was more im­por­tant than the spo­ken word.

Hill’s Spot se­ries was the ideal mar­riage of cre­ative medi­ums, given their vis­ual na­ture.

“The in­ter­ac­tive as­pect of the books, like look­ing for an­i­mals un­der the flaps, makes them very at­trac­tive to young chil­dren,” Morssinkhof said.

“We have in­cor­po­rated many of these in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments into the show, such as search­ing for an­i­mals and com­plet­ing a gi­ant jig­saw puz­zle with the au­di­ence.”

The pro­duc­tion is roughly based on Spot Goes to the Farm, but tells a new story de­vel­oped by the the­atre com­pany’s cre­ative team.

The 50-minute show for ages two and older fea­tures Spot and his friend He­len the hip­popota­mus, who visit Spot’s dad Sam on the farm, only to find all the farm an­i­mals miss­ing.

All three main char­ac­ters are pup­peteered live on stage.

The cast of Spot.

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