The 'me, me' generation

24th January 1997 at 00:00
Norma Cohen and Reva Klein watch theatre shows for three to five-year-olds that examine infant predicaments

As Pop Up Theatre's What About Me? began, a couple of three-year-olds shouted, "Pingu!" I, too, thought about the children's cartoon which features penguins who communicate by saying "ee ee, ooh ooh" a lot, but I held back from shouting it out.

Mike Dalton's production, set in an Arctic ice-scape, relies on "ee ees" and "waa waas" rather than words, and the three characters certainly look like penguins. But it doesn't matter, because this is a theatre piece that deals with an aspect of relationships that three to five-year-olds can understand: the pain of being left out.

Through gentle humour, he tells the story of a creature who comes across a little tent, from which emerge two other creatures. To begin with, they are suspicious of the newcomer but then slowly come to trust and share with it. When two puppet babies are hatched, they close ranks against the third but, in the end, are all reunited and everyone is happy.

Pop Up has once again created a considered, witty and cleverly designed piece that builds on empathy with all the characters, without resorting to mawkishness. Theatre for the thinking toddler.

What About Me? is at the Young Vic Studio until Feb 8. Tickets: 0171 275 8376

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now