Windmill Theatre has returned with a fun, Australian puppet play for kids, Hiccup.
The simple premise involves Eddie (Nathan O’Keefe), a man who finds the city too noisy to enable him to get a good sleep at night, heading out to the country to spend a night in a tent amid “peace and quiet”. However, he soon discovers that our curious and noisy native animals, especially a Quokka (Chiara Gabrielli), Koala (Lachlan Micklewait), and Emu (Nathan O’Keefe), can create noise and commotion that parallels city soundscapes. This is further amplified by Koala’s hiccups, which the characters devote themselves to curing.
The action takes place on a storybook set with simple trees, stumps, and rocks, along with a colourful tent, and plenty of silver, shiny utensils.
This show is aimed at children aged 4 to 8, and it’s intriguing to watch them remain silent during the slow and quiet opening.
After a wonderful gag involving car keys, Eddie settles in for the night. And then the action commences.
One of the key dramatic planks that quickly emerges is how both human and native animal are equally “on edge” as they stumble upon the strange “other”.
Kids in the audience seemed quite keyed in to the usual, reliable cues of children’s theatre, especially the “look behind you” moment and the audience-involvement song.
This is a simple show that entertains its audience in the key of Australiana.