Part presentation, part performance, the show revolves around exquisite close-ups (bug shots?) of some of the wildlife that flies, crawls and burrows in one small English country garden. This is accompanied by a miscellany of fascinating facts and, above all, poems. The changes were rung by violinist John Rayson who provided musical interludes and supplied the correct Latin names for the featured creatures.
It wasn’t the photographs that caught the imagination of the young audience, though, but the poetry. In a world saturated with images, the creative and imaginative use of language still has the power to enthral. Through the poems we met Jane Bond (a bee with a mission), the unfortunately named Dung Beetle (well, how would you like it?) and the caterpillar who is a champion amongst chompers. We also discovered the difference between blue- and green-bottles, that earwigs make terrific parents and the section on ladybirds was, well, spot on.
Buzzing! is more usually performed in schools or other smaller venues and, to be fair, it probably didn’t work as well in the slightly more formal setting of the Playhouse: perhaps the Buzzing! team needs to develop a slightly more theatrical approach for larger venues. This was perhaps compounded, on this occasion, by a disappointingly small audience and it may have been better for the Playhouse to have pitched this production at term-time schools audiences rather than the half-term market.
Anneliese Emmans Dean is a gifted poet, performer and communicator who deserves to be more widely known. Those children who were lucky enough to attend this performance will probably spend the following weekend writing poems, hunting bugs and amazing their friends with their new-found knowledge.