Considering an astronomical percentage of Fringe flyers and posters are non-recyclable due to their gloss finish, an eco-folktale about saving the environment is somewhat apposite at the festival. Children will be left with the legacy of our waste (the UK alone produces more than 30 million tonnes a year), and Glasgow-based Modest Predicament’s kids' show about preventing pollution by taking personal responsibility is thoroughly charming.
When Errol is kidnapped by the Earth Creatures as punishment for humans’ failure to care for the planet, his sister Erin sets off on an adventure to rescue him, but not before learning some valuable eco-lessons from woodland pixies along the way. She’s taught—through song, of course—about the value of composting, recycling, mending clothes and growing vegetables, messages that she then implores the town’s adults to heed.
By combining puppetry, live music and poetry with facts about sustainability, this smart quartet deliver a fun, relevant show for ages five and up. It doesn’t patronise or confuse youngsters on the basics, instead focusing on the ways in which we can work together to decrease our dependence on plastics and non-renewable energy sources.
Granted, there may be even more productive ways to educate while entertaining kids, such as literally involving them in the story (not to test their knowledge about the environment, but to open a space for dialogue). That being said, Erin, Errol and the Earth Creatures is creative, conscientious storytelling that centres the role that kids will play in future conversations about art and the environment.