There is something endearingly engaging about watching theatre performances in spaces other than theatres. Whether that’s libraries, school halls or community centres, there’s more freedom to be vocal and get involved, which is exactly what Total Insight Theatre encourages with their production of Mr and Mrs Polluto.
Though it’s titled Mr and Mrs Polluto, the starring role and heroine of the adventure is undoubtedly five year old Maia (although she’s keen to let you know she’s very nearly six). Excited by the prospect of her upcoming birthday, Maia is saddened to find that the rest of the residents of Rushmore Street aren’t always as conscientious as they could be when it comes to recycling. Her neighbours all live exciting lives but sometimes they forget that they share the same space as everyone else in the town. A storm brews and Maia starts to worry that her birthday party will never happen. You’ll have to come and see the show to find out what happens next, but let’s just say that Maia saves the day and teaches us all an important lesson!
The debut performances of Mr and Mrs Polluto were scheduled for Saturday 15th July, at Kemsley Community Hall first with a second performance at Luton Library near Chatham. It was an early start for the company, making their way to the venue in Kemsley; a great space that was originally built as a concert hall for all the workers at the Mill! While the weather didn’t quite hold out all day, the enthusiasm of everyone at Kemsley Community Hall most certainly did. The performance of Mr and Mrs Polluto kicked off just after 10am to an active audience of adults and children alike. While you may not think the topic of recycling lends itself that well to theatre, Mr and Mrs Polluto captures the magic of performance and weaves a wonderfully modern story that focuses on community, responsibility and a strong sense of shared belonging.
The production, written by Jum Faraq and directed by Almundena Calvo, is a feel-good, family show. It’s humorous and incredibly visual, with a real variety of interesting props. The small but dynamic cast play a multitude of characters and perform a number of catchy songs that the audience can sing and clap along to (which they did!). If the venue has the space the accommodate it, Total Insight also run workshops based off the performance, which was a great success at Kemsley. Using all kinds of materials, the workshops allow for some creativity to be unleashed and at Kemsley, all manner of puppets, presents and bumble bees were created!
Total Insight Theatre are taking recycling one step further by hosting a Junk Modelling workshop right here at No34 on July 22nd. Pop down any time between 11am & 2pm and see what you can rustle up from recycled items.
If you are interested in seeing a performance of Mr and Mrs Polluto, the company will also be back here at No34 on July 29th 2017, with two free shows during the day. It is suitable for ages 3+ and totally free to attend.