Within the first minute of Erin, Errol and The Earth Creatures, a child loudly exclaims ‘This is magical!’. The other children agree vocally. The adults nod.
Indeed, the show is magical. With its enchanting will-o’-the-wisps and artful puppets, it flawlessly creates Erin and Errol’s charming world of Aberdundingle. It is a simple premise: Erin and Errol are twins, when Errol vanishes Erin sets out to retrieve her brother; she visits a series of magical earth creatures who teach her about the destructive effects of humans and their waste.
Modest Predicament is a new Glasgow-based company started by Glasgow University graduates Jenny Gilvear and Shilpa T-Hyland. Their first production rests on the shoulders of four very competent enthusiastic performers, with special congratulations to Ross Wylie, whose energy was incredibly affable and engaging throughout. Although the music is good and the small lighting tricks are exciting, it is the puppetry that’s the most impressive, especially the enchanting and slightly intimidating Kelpie.
The didactic message of the show is cloaked behind all of its ‘magical’ attributes, and although I suspect the statistics about recycling a metal can won’t stick with the children, the overall awareness of earth creatures will. Once the show is finished and we are all outside, a mother warns her son not to throw his plastic wrapper in the wrong bin; ‘Remember the Kelpie’, she says.
Erin, Errol, and the Earth Creatures runs at the Edinburgh Fringe from the 4th-21st August at 11.30am every day