Kid Critic Review: Michael Morpurgo's Kensuke's Kingdom

Alice McGuire (age 11) loved the puppetry in this mystical book adaptation

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 12 Aug 2018
33330 large
121329 original

What happens in the show?
A family cash in all their life savings and go on an adventure, sailing around the world. They are hit by a giant storm and the boy (Michael) and his dog wake up on an island with an old man called Kensuke. The story follows their friendship developing and other animals on the island.

Describe the show in five words
Intriguing, imaginative, gripping, puppetry, accurate (i.e. like the book).

Who was your favourite character, and why? 
Tomodachi the orangutan – I really liked the puppetry used for him. He brought fun to the story, but also added an emotional aspect with the reality of the animals being in danger.

If there was something the performers could have done better next time, what would it be? 
I couldn’t always see the orangutans, especially the little one, and this would be even more an issue for smaller children. If they found a little plinth to sit them on that would make it much better.

What was your favourite moment in the show?
When Kensuke was telling Michael about how he ended up on the island, they used clever shadow puppetry, giving more detail to the story and making it seem real.

What did your grown-up think of the show? 
My dad says: “This is a cracking family show. With innovative use of puppetry, props and staging, this tight young cast have brought this much loved book to life, in a performance that’s both exciting and touching.”

Would you tell your friends to come and see the show? 
Yes, I’d definitely recommend it to people who like puppetry and certainly those who've read the book as I think it’ll show you something close to the metal picture you dreamt up in your mind.