Preview: Kinny brings the power of puppetry home

Mattress! Mattress! The Story of the Princess and the Pea. Pic: Comp
Mattress! Mattress! The Story of the Princess and the Pea. Pic: Comp
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LOOKING for a show to take the little ones to this weekend? Then the Netherbow Theatre has just the thing.

Mattress! Mattress! The Story of the Princess and the Pea brings a delightful mix of puppetry, sign language, laughs and “dancing aboot” to The Scottish Storytelling Centre, on the Royal Mile, this Saturday.

Set in an ‘awfy drafty’ castle in the remote Scottish Highlands, this classic tale is re-told by two bemused actors, some tartan ‘troos’ and an extravaganza of exquisite puppet figures.

A fast and funny family show suitable for all audiences, both deaf and hearing, this latest production showcases Krazy Kat Theatre Company’s mastery of visual storytelling and bristles with creativity, humour and ingenuity.

“This version of The Princess and the Pea is delivered by two actors, puppets and music, with sign language being used throughout,” explains the company’s artistic director, Kinny Gardner.

“Sign language is something that Krazy Kat always includes to make their performances accessible for both deaf and hearing audiences.

“Even some of the puppets in the show use sign language and the audience is encouraged to learn simple signs during the performance,” he adds.

“It’s inclusive theatre at its best. There’s a lot of tartan, dressing up, conjuring, word play, physical comedy, lovely detailing and a smattering of bananas. In essence it’s a delightful show.”

BBC award winner Gardner, himself from Leith, is looking forward to returning home and catching up with all the theatre goings on in the Capital having been on tour throughout the UK with his ‘daft show’.

The 56-year-old’s extensive theatrical experience is a fundamental and utterly unique area of Krazy Kat’s work and ethos.

Gardner brings a wealth of experience to all his creations, which are both ambitious and exacting, and he is never afraid to take risks and re-invent the game.

As he says “I’m much given to tearing up rule books... especially on the Royal Mile!”

And Saturday is just the first of two homecomings for the former Holy Cross High School pupil. In August he will bring another of his acclaimed children’s show to The Pleasance during the Fringe, Cinder-Ella, the story of a grandfather left holding a rather leaky baby.

Gardner won the prestigious BBC Arts Community Hero Award in 2014.

Mattress! Mattress! The Story of the Princess and the Pea, The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile, Saturday, 11am and 2pm, £8, 0131-556 9579