Tortoise in a Nutshell's Flutter offers 'a mix of imagination and magic'

Tortoise in a Nutshell's Flutter offers 'a mix of imagination and magic'

Designer and cast member Arran Howie discusses the show's aims and themes

Already well-respected for their puppet theatre productions aimed at both adults and children, Tortoise in a Nutshell's past hits include Feral, Grit and The Lost Things. The company's latest is a Christmas show aimed at younger audience members, and its upcoming tour a revival from last year, when Flutter had a brief airing.

'We wanted to do a piece that reflects the season of winter through its sensory and visual aspects,' says Tortoise in a Nutshell's Arran Howie, a designer on the show and also one of the two-handed cast for this current tour along with Christie Mitchell. 'It's about working with the textures that young audiences enjoy – a celebration and an exploration of the season of winter, in which the audience feel immersed and get a sense of playfulness.'

Directed by Matt Addicott and aimed at children between the ages of two and six, the piece was devised by the company with the help of dramaturgs Alex Bird and Ross MacKay, and tells the broad story of two sisters who go out into their back garden to discover it's been transformed by fresh snowfall.

'It's a completely new playing canvas for them to discover, where something that used to be a shed now looks like a mountain,' says Howie. 'They take out their toy penguin and lose it, and while they search for him there's a sense that animals might be hibernating in the garden and things could be coming to life. So there's a mix of imagination and magic there.'

Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, Sun 25–Thu 29 Nov; Platform, Glasgow, Sat 1–Wed 5 Dec; Dundee Rep Theatre, Tue 18–Sat 22 Dec.

Flutter

Immersive multi-sensory performance about the magical world of winter for kids aged 2–6 that combines puppetry, music and visuals.

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