Creature feature a delight
IT is the timeless children’s tale we all listened to as youngsters then rushed out to buy when our own little tackers arrived.
The ever-indulgent red-faced caterpillar eats his way through strawberries, cherry pie, chocolate cake and watermelon before transforming into a beautiful butterfly.
Now The Very Hungry Caterpillar makes his way to Perth in his own special show, celebrating the beloved book and several other Eric Carle classics, thanks to Sydney producer Michael Sieders.
“I have a vivid memory of the book being around and having it read to me and I even remember poking my fingers through the hole, which so many children do as soon as they get it,” he said.
“Having it be part of my life constantly for the past couple of years, everywhere I go I see that
caterpillar. I can’t walk into a cafe or bookstore without seeing that caterpillar right in front of me.”
Premiering at Sydney Festival in 2015, with Sieders at the helm, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is set for its biggest year of touring in 2017 with a first-time visit to WA.
“People don’t stop having children, so we have a constant renewal of audience members,” the theatre-maker said.
“At the time it was published in 1969, it was so revolutionary for a children’s book – the artwork stood off the page automatically.
“Ordinarily, books that came out in the ‘60s and ‘70s were just a book and you read them, turned the page and that was it.
“What Eric Carle did was encapsulate a toy within a book and I think that’s why it has remained so iconic.”
The production features 75 puppets and a giant storybook where pages turn and new worlds are created.
“With such an iconic work, it needs to be for adults as much as it is for children,” Sieders said.
“Hopefully, adults come away feeling nostalgic for their childhood and go home and explore the books themselves.”