Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit at Stratford Circus Arts Centre

Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit
Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit

Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit is a story of friendship and family. Rufus Longbottom, in his cotton striped pyjamas, is played by Simon Prag. Rufus Longbottom is a wheelchair-bound elderly gentleman, who lives in the Tandaria Care Home for the elderly. He lives there with fellow residents who have become his friends – they are just like family.

Rufus itches for one last adventure and finds it when he meets the Space Rabbit. The Space Rabbit (played by Lula Mebrahtu) is dressed in a yellow all-in-one costume with long thin cone-like ears, yellow boots and has magical black hi-tech gloves. These magical paws help her on her adventure in finding her family, who she had lost when she escaped from her planet when it was destroyed by a meteorite. Poor Space Rabbit, all alone on the planet without her family.

The mission to find the Space Rabbit’s family becomes Rufus’s adventure. On this adventure, they bump into scary loud wolves and Picklepine, the pirate who has a not so innocent agenda. There are of course some not so scary characters, like a baker and magician.

This production has a very small cast. By simply changing a piece of garment, like a hat or a coat, the cast member jumps into a role of a different character, from Richard the Care Home Manager to David Sinnaman the Baker, or Ann the explorer to Captain Amelia Hook. The cast played the roles well.

This production is hi-tech with the gloves, lights, voice and sound manipulations. This engages the young audience in a different way to the ‘usual’ theatre. There is also some lovely singing and music without instrumental accompaniment. A nice story of friendship and family.

My six-year-old boy who accompanied me to this production sums up the play by saying it is a story about helping one another, working as a team and family.

3 Star Review

Review by Shaidi Ramsurrun

When Space Rabbit’s planet is destroyed by a meteorite, she escapes in the nick of time. A blast separates her from her family, sending her hurtling towards earth, where she lands outside a care home, frightened and alone. Inside is Rufus Longbottom, an old gentleman itching for one last adventure. Guided by her magical paws, the unlikely pair go on a journey which takes them to the ends of the earth in the search for a family and a place to call home.

Using song, music and a bit of magic, Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit is a delightful and enchanting show for audiences young and old alike.

Inspired by the writings and creations of KS2 children from schools in East London, Derbyshire and Oxfordshire.

An enchanting children’s show about belonging and friendship told through song, storytelling and magical, high-tech gloves.

Directed by Sabina Netherclift | Music and lyrics by Osnat Schmool
UK Tour 21 May – 9 June 2018
Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, Stratford, London, E15 1BX

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