Review: Where The Bugaboo Lives (Little Angel, online)

Floyd and Ruby are siblings, but they love each other. Sometimes they fight, and Ruby likes to tease her little brother: stories about the scary monster the Bugaboo give him sleepless nights. When Floyd’s ball rolls into a valley, the scene is set for an adventure you can shape at home!

Where The Bugaboo Lives is the Little Angel’s first Zoom production, performed live. It joins the productions which have been available for free on their YouTube channel during theatre closure. Performed at the show I saw by Roberta Livingstone, Where The Bugaboo Lives is an immersive piece of storytelling, polls, and puppetry.

With a choice of two paths at various points in the show, no show is the same. How the children get home, and by which route, is up to you. Based on the book by Sean Taylor, directed by Little Angel’s artistic director Samantha Lane, this show is aimed at ages 5-11.

Where The Bugaboo Lives, Little Angel Theatre

Will you send them uphill or down, into the cold or the warm, or towards a particular smell or sound? Your choice will affect just how the children get into peril, and how they get out of it!

The Zoom platform allows for the use of polls (as utilised here) or chat options (as used in Stute’s recent Fables at the Kitchen Table piece), so it also teaches some technical tricks as the show develops.

The music by Dominic Sales, all funky vibes and recurring motifs, is pitched just right. Ellie Mills’s designs are exquisite and bursting with detail. Livingston proves an engaging performer who breathes life into each character and setting, while keeping young audiences enthralled and welcome.

This is an inventive and enjoyable show with various creepy crawlies and spooky shakers; with a message about children sticking together to solve problems – siblings, as here, or friends.

Roberta Livingston performing Where The Bugaboo Lives

It runs around 45 minutes, and never flags in its delivery or pace. This is a fun show to get your family dancing with joy, shivering with fear, and cheering the children on.

Where The Bugaboo Lives is streaming until 2 May (most weekday performances are for schools except over the Easter break). Tickets are £13.50 per household: book here. Further Zoom productions are planned into the summer.

The show has a short digital “tour” between 27-31 March (to Nottingham Lakeside Arts and CAST Doncaster), and 6-7 April (at The Albany).

Image credit: Eliie Kurttz

LouReviews received complimentary access to review Where The Bugaboo Lives.