Printable CopyBEEP
Windmill Theatre
The Space
Until 03 Sep 2017

Review by Nikki Gaertner

Bringing a beautiful story of acceptance and friendship to the stage, Windmill’s “Beep” tells the story of Mort, who lives in a little village where everything has its place and everyone and everything has and knows their part to play. That is, until one day a little robot called Beep lands and changes everything!

Acted out using gorgeous and sophisticated puppets – made by Tamara Rewse and operated by Windmill Performers Antoine Jelk, Ezra Juanta and Kialea-Nadine Williams – the story moves along quickly, keeping the running time to around 30 minutes, with a chance to get a little closer and take some photos of the characters at the end too. The set (designed by Jonathon Oxlade) is relatively small, but versatile and visually attractive, representing Mort’s small village. It is filled with colour, and surprise and fun characters that continuously pop up. As such, and combined with the antics of Beep and Mort, the show keeps little audience members engaged. (Adults will also enjoy watching the amazing puppets – particularly Beep, who is a very technically advanced puppet, and makes you wonder just how the operator is making everything happen!) There is also added audience participation to give the kids a couple of chances to get out of their seats and move around, which always helps!

The story is simple, and the performers deliver their dialogue with a young audience in mind – keeping their voices interesting, and providing plenty of sound effects and expressions while they act as the various characters. The story is mostly narrated by the actors, while the characters themselves use very simple language, almost reminiscent of TV shows such as ‘In the Night Garden’, which tends to be a winner with the kids.

Judging by the smiles, laughter and commentary from the little ones throughout the performance this is a surefire winner for Windmill, and it’s certain that Beep’s antics, noises and underlying message will live on in their memories for quite some time.