Review: Zog, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Easter holidays; enough to instil fear into the heart of any parent. Hopefully, this one hasn’t been too exhausting for you and you have found a few cost-effective ways to entertain the little ones. If, however, you are still at a loss this weekend for an hour of entertainment then I would recommend seeing Zog and his musical friends at St. David’s Hall.

Julia Donaldson’s rhymes will forever be imprinted on my mind and hopefully will have influenced my children; sparking their love of the written word in the same way that the likes of the Mr Men series influenced mine. What a lovely experience to see these characters come to life in person with live music and a bit of good old-fashioned panto-style audience participation.

Zog is a very accident-prone little dragon who is desperately learning how to roar, breathe fire and fly in order to win a gold star from his teacher. Helped by his caring friend, Pearl, Zog and his dragon friends master the art of being a dragon.

The set and rigging were simple but allowed for a dynamic range of movement and space for the puppets to shine. It is also lovely to see live instruments used alongside, and as part of, the action. My daughter was absolutely delighted that the dragons were playing Ukulele.

I love puppets; it allows the actors to communicate the character in several different ways, adding to the experience and understanding. My only criticism is that the puppets seemed largely unnecessary for part of the story and I feel they could have been used a little more. However, the physicality of the actors and the dancing were really lively and engaging and later the puppets shine when learning to fly.

It was lovely for the production to breathe life into the dragons and my Son particularly enjoyed the silliness, snoring and derriere jokes. An enjoyable performance that put a smile on our faces and put Mammy in a good mood.

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