… is a line from “The Bug and the Butterfly”, a story in English and Spanish for all the family. Or, as the brochure puts it, “Dance and music fuse with Spanish and English text in this exciting new show for adults and children alike”. We were in the crypt, so to speak, of the theatre and we were invited to sit on the leaf-shaped carpet pieces on the floor. I bottled out and sat on one of the handful of chairs assigned to grown ups who couldn’t cope with the floor. (My family may testify to my propensity for pins and needles if I sit on the floor for any length of time.)

I’m afraid for all its merits it was not quite what it said on the tin. For example, there were maybe a dozen or so Spanish words, none of which were crucial to the plot. This was a bit of a pity because one of the selling points for us was the Spanish which we are beginning to learn. The plot itself was essentially:

  • Bug starts to write poem
  • no on wants to listen
  • Bug meets Butterfly who listens to work in progress
  • Butterfly breaks wing
  • Wing gets better and Butterfly departs
  • Bug finishes her poem

To its credit this did hold the attention of the under fives in the audience for over half an hour – but not mine, I’m afraid. For me the best bit was when the bug character wafted the poppy leaf a bit too vigorously and knocked off some of her glittery make up. The sparkling motes dancing and flashing in the stage light were pleasing to watch and that helped to pass the time while the plot ambled on.

The two supporting actors played a number of characters and can be commended for their versatility. And I can hardly criticise any of the three for their lithe dance and movement as any such dancing I attempt resembles a blue whale with a moderate sense of timing rather more than ballet. (I can remember 5th position but I’m not so sure about 3rd and 4th).

I did not attend the family workshop which followed immediately afterwards but the reports I got afterwards were somewhat faint praise.

As none of our party were under five we didn’t enjoy The Bug and the Butterfly as much as we would have wanted. But I reckon a four-year-old would easily give 8 or more out of ten.

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