As many of you know, I have been performing with Mermaid Theatre for the past two years with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites. My first Mermaid tour was in North America in the fall of 2009. Subsequently, I have performed the show in four different countries in English and French. I have had the great pleasure to see numerous places that I might never have gotten the opportunity to experience otherwise, and met a lot of amazing people. “Be a puppeteer and see the world!” All that being said, this will be my first blog post for Mermaid Theatre! We are currently on a three month tour of the United Kingdom and our stop this past weekend was in the seaside resort town of Weston-Super-Mare.
The 3:30 pm show on Saturday, October 1st, at the Playhouse Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare, was a very special show for me. My sister Catherine, her husband Daniel, and my two little nieces, Autumn (22 months) and Beatrice (13 months), were in the audience. For both girls The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites was their first theatre experience.
Autumn is the perfect age for the show, and according to my sister she was enthralled by the puppets during the performance. My niece Beatrice is a little younger than the show’s ideal age, but Catherine said she still enjoyed watching the colours and movement onstage. My sister and her family live not far from Weston-Super-Mare and I was very excited that they were able to attend.
I brought Autumn and my family backstage after the show and as Catherine and Daniel chatted to Shawn and John Allen, I showed, or rather followed, Autumn around the stage. She ran from one puppet to another, very excited to see and touch each one. The chameleon proved to be her favourite, and was she surprised and delighted to find that we had seven different chameleon puppets backstage. For our picture together Autumn wanted to be surrounded by as many chameleons as possible. One of her favourite expressions right now is, “I like it!” which she exclaimed many, many times as we walked (and ran) around the stage. It was a magical afternoon and a very satisfying experience, sharing a special part of my life with my beloved nieces.
Our tour continues now for another two months around the United Kingdom. More adventures to come!
Rebecca Russell, October 6th, 2011