We’ve teamed up with Christina Birt Projects and Company of Angels to deliver a series of reviews as part of the Creative Critics series. School children aged 8-11 respond to a series of shows. These reviews are from The Rattler by Mahogany Opera Group as part of the Bury Festival written by pupils from the Woolpit Primary School.

Review by Dylan E.

The Rattler is a performance of Rumpelstiltskin with a twist.

At the start there was a workshop where we made rattle beat sticks and some wrist bands and beards out of straw. We then learned some little songs to sing at certain points in the show. Then we walked around the Apex singing into the real performance. They changed the name of Rumpelstiltskin to The Rattler. Children under 7 will most probably find it quite scary because the rattler is made of bone. So if you like puppetry it’s the show for you! It’s very exciting and with lots of opera. The puppet was very realistic, they got the eyes just right, the breathing and the gravity was good. It was hard to focus on the people controlling him because you are so entrusted to the puppet. The music is three people playing a cello and a piano and the clarinet. It’s very funny at some points and it was kind of a dance. The actors are extremely good, they’re really good at being the characters in the story. You should definitely see this as everything is awesome!

The Rattler

Review by Molly D, aged 10

On Sunday 29 May 2016, Mahogany Opera Group performed their version of Rumpelstiltskin (The Rattler). It is set in the olden days, but I recommend it for kids age 6+ because the rattler is rather scary. The rattler is a puppet of junk found on moors like sheep skulls etc. The puppet didn’t look like a puppet, it looked like a real monster. This piece was ever so imaginative, moving and amazing. The rattler was a bit scary and creepy, and once it moves you forget there is people controlling it and it’s like a weird Mythical, wild creature. When it came out of the box I thought it was real for a moment and wanted to scream. There was a man controlling the legs of the rattler, a women controlling the body and an arm and there was another man controlling the head and the other arm. They had to connect and make the creature walk. The man controlling the head was the creature’s voice.

This show was interesting and immersive because they get you to sing, clap along to the music and chant stuff. The lighting showed moods like when it was sad it was dark, when it was happy it was light etc. It was really effective and interesting. The meaning of this was that there was a little man/creature and when the girl couldn’t pay him to spin gold he said one day he would return and take anything he could hold. One day when the girl had a baby he returned and took the baby. The mother of the child got the baby boy back in the end, they danced and chanted.

I loved this, I loved having the opportunity to see this show. As long as you’re over 6 I recommend it to you! If you get the chance to watch this you will rock with laughter, joyfulness and happiness.

Mahogany Opera Group is touring The Rattler throughout 2016. Find out more on the Mahogany Opera Group website.