On Our Street

Capital E, Wellington

15/04/2006 - 25/04/2006

Production Details

By Peter Wilson and Jenny Pattrick
Directed by Peter Wilson

Lyrics: Jenny Pattrick

composer: Laughton Pattrick

Puppets created by Deb Ruffels

Capital E National Theatre for Children

Just another day on the neighbourhood street turns into an adventure packed with surprises and comedy in family stage show On Our Street. Enjoy fun adventures as you join the kids on the block – in what starts off as a normal day! You’ll see some quirky sides of life in a collage of snap-shot stories about the people, pets, objects, sights and sounds on our streets. A hungry letterbox waits to chew up the new mail… a little girl makes friends with her scary neighbour…an alley cat has a dinner party…

Karen Anslow, Jamie Burgess and Michael White

Theatre , Children’s , Music ,

50 mins

Highly energised performances

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 18th Apr 2006

A lot can happen in a local street between sunrise and sunset – kids get ready for school, people go off to work, the mail arrives, the rubbish gets put out, kids play, workmen fix things, people walk their dogs plus a lot more.

All of which provides rich pickings for the creative team of Peter Wilson and Jenny and Pattrick Laughton at Capital E National Theatre for Children to use for a lively, colourful and innovative children’s show for this school holidays.

Aimed at a younger audience than other school holiday productions currently playing around town, On Our Street uses three actors – Karen Anslow, Jamie Burgess and Michael White – and lots of puppets created by Deb Ruffels to tell its story of a day in the life of a local street.

With lots of songs, dance routines, physical action and with the creative use of props and costumes the three young characters in the story take their audience on an adventure where they meet lots of people, animals and objects, all easily recognisable and all found in and on any New Zealand street.

We meet the grouchy lady next door, the mail man delivering letters, the workman working underground on the street cables, the rubbish collectors, the neighbours walking their dogs plus many more diverse and interesting characters.

In a simple yet effective way, which is also highly colourful, On Our Street relies on and uses much of the audience’s imagination to portray its story. Under director Peter Wilson the three versatile actors, who can not only sing and dance but who are also accomplished actors, continually engage their audience and hold their attention.

They keep the pace moving with highly energised performances bringing lots of humour to the production with animated sight gags that has the young audience continually in fits of laughter making this another Capital E winner.


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Simply inspiring

Review by John Smythe 16th Apr 2006

A great favourite from 2001, On Our Street returns to Capital E in delightful fresh fettle. Written by Jenny Pattrick with director Peter Wilson, with wonderful tunes and musical direction by Laughton Pattrick (to Jenny’s lyrics), it imaginatively captures a day in the life of three kids in a suburban street.

Chris (Michael White), Sally (Karen Onslow) and Tony (Jamie Burgess) harmonise beautifully, vocally and physically, as actors, singers and puppeteers (with additional puppetry, I think, from stage manager Jo Bunce).

Peter Wilson and Capital E’s depth of experience and understanding of their audience is apparent at every level (this is ideal for ages 3 to 8 and fine for older kids and the parents too). Infused with the magic of theatre is a very real sense that making up stories that draw from everyday experience, observation and imagination, and playing them out for fun, is a very natural process.

I’m sure many children will be inspired to make believe even more at home, with siblings, friends and their toys, after seeing a show like this. Role-playing, puppetry, songs as a way to add story elements and express feelings, inquisitiveness, adventures, facing fear, understanding others, inventing new things to do with found objects … On Our Street has all that and more.

There is a great ease of style and, amid the lively, dramatic and comic sequences, lots of lovely quiet moments that focus audience attention wonderfully. This is true entertainment, that draws us in and holds our attention, without forcing anything on us or making manipulative demands. A joy.


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