In a light-filled room above the Royal Botanic Garden, woollen pieces of fruit fly up into the air. Small squares of coloured silk float over our heads. Warmed rocks are passed around. Cold ice is shaved to make snow. A small, nervous mouse peeks out and then hides away again.
Anonymouse is a work for babies and their grown-ups from Ipdip Theatre, blending storytelling, movement, song and play. A woman and her imaginary friend play in the magical forest, and the children are deeply engaged in this world that sets to light up their imaginations. Anonymouse opens up a world of magic for both very young children and their adults alike.
The show struggles a little in straddling the zero-to-three age range. Toddlers are engaged throughout the work but the attention of the babies wanes during the storytelling sections. Performers and divisors Charlotte Allan and EmmaClaire Brightlyn are skilled at using the strong visual and tactile elements of the work to re-engage their young audience, but children and parents will get more out of the work when the company finds a way to gently maintain attentiveness throughout.
In its finest moments, the world of Anonymouse encourages the babies’ curiosity absolutely. Children who want to explore are free to do so and those who wish to stay with their parents are engaged in exploring this world together, before all getting up to say goodbye to the little shy mouse.