Pea / A Spare Seat (Living Record Festival, online)

Young Tiffany faces her demons and goes in search of the Pea (of The Princess and the Pea fame) when she finds herself in an unfamiliar house and bed.

Created and devised by Eden Harbud and Sam Williams of Nod at the Fox, this one hour show is expertly performed by Harbud and Jennie Rawling.

What starts as an ordinary tale of an apprehensive little girl going to meet her stepfamily – also demonstrating all the nuts and bolts of puppetry and shadow play – becomes a wild adventure.

Image from Pea

In creating a believable story and characters, Pea is a lively piece for children of early school age; utilising flights of fancy to help deal with tricky situations.

Chatty bed bugs, the great ‘Memory Foam’, a shepherd and his sheep, all contribute to Tiffany’s journey to find the Pea and sleep peacefully in her new home.

Pea mixes puppetry styles and makes us root for Tiffany and her new-found friends as they work together to find a solution to her insomnia and unease. New friends, both real and imaginary, speak to young audiences through this piece.

Image from Pea

Tiffany’s adventurous spirit and nervous interaction with her stepfamily are highlighted through lighting, sound and music. The voice cast (Harbud, Williams, Rawling, plus Phoebe Gilderdale) bring proceedings to life, while Blythe Brett’s puppets are a joy to look at.

Pea is a valuable and entertaining piece of puppetry showing how immersing yourself in storytelling can help remove obstacles: it is currently available in the Living Record Festival alongside a short film from the same creators called A Spare Seat.

To book tickets to view both productions on demand, go here. For more on Nod and the Fox, you can visit their website; you can also read my review of their previous digital production, Breaking Up With Reality.

Pea – ****, A Spare Seat – ***