Jessica Bo Peep
Directed by: Amalia Calder
KidzStuff Theatre, 15th Apr 2023
Reviewed by: Tania Du Toit
KidzStuff has done it again and they sure bring lots of fun to the school holidays! Jessica Bo Peep is another amazing production full of fun, adventure, and some valuable lessons.
When we arrive, we receive a warm welcome from Adam Koveskali. We get to meet Jessica, played by producer and creative director Amalia Calder. Jessica is a kind, supportive human being who loves all things and sees the good in everything. Her trusty dog, named Goldfish (Clare Kerrison), interacts with the kids before the show and everyone gets to pretend to be dogs. It’s adorable! Clare also plays the roles of the cheeky Pūkeko and Nettie, the fearsome mother of Jessica and Goldfish’s new friend Tom, whom we meet in the show a little bit later.
Tom the Taniwha (Gareth Tiopira-Waaka) is an amazing character and, together with Jessica, interprets the little lessons in the show, which the whole audience can understand. The show is filled with wonderful music and original songs by Amalia and Chrysalynn Calder. The lighting creates every scene change very well and the set is simple, yet so effective. We dance along to the music and the interaction between the cast and the young audience makes the show even more magical.
In between all the fun, we get to learn new things too, like how to spell geography and about the Māori legend of taniwha. We learn about friendship and kindness, taking care of each other, and loving our friends, family, and animals.
After a show, I like to ask my son what part he loved the most. He says the doggo and all the hugs. My personal favourite element is Tom the Taniwha and his gentleness. In a world where cruelty and fear are the norm, he chooses to be good and kind.
I can’t wait to see KidzStuff’s next school holiday show. With smiles, laughter, and even fresh popcorn, Jessica Bo Peep is great fun for the whole family!