The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes at The Hammersmith Lyric

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We were kindly invited to ‘The Little Gardener’ a free puppet show based on the popular children’s book of the same name. And so we strolled down to Hammersmith’s Lyric square to find a mini glass house surrounded by deck chairs set up outside the theatre.

Performed by solo puppeteer Peter Hobday, he brought The Little Gardener to life in wonderful fashion, and more impressively managed actually to do some serious gardening in the process. The story goes that the poor Little Gardener has been asleep and awakes to find his garden in a bit of a state. Trash is littered all over the place, whilst a yellow weed seems to have taken over most of the beds. The Little Gardner wakes up, says hello to a couple of worms and tries to clean things up, but a huge storm blows him away, ruining his efforts to tidy up his garden. Maybe he is just to too small to look after such a big garden. Why not sleep on it, he thinks.

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Then the real magic happens. Whilst he sleeps, all the children and sprogs are invited into the greenhouse to tidy up. They get rid of the rubbish and weeds and plant flowers in all of his beds, leaving The Little Gardener’s garden looking like something out of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

There was a charming original soundtrack from Darren Clark, which had us humming Little Gardener songs all the way home. The mini greenhouse was the perfect interactive set for the kids and the message to children was clear. See the enjoyment and pleasure you can get from developing green fingers and tending a garden. Well done to the whole How It Ended team and good luck with their tour of The Little Gardener.

Highlight of the piece – The Little Gardener’s boogie and the moment when the kiddies were invited in to sort out the garden.

WIGS 4/5

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