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Giant 'igloos' rolled out for kids’ theatre festival

This weekend, the giant igloos will make their grand debut. Finally. Victoria’s Kaleidoscope Theatre purchased its first portable, igloo-shaped theatre in 2013. Then it acquired another smaller one.
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Puppeteer Veronica Bonderud with the Little Prince.

This weekend, the giant igloos will make their grand debut. Finally.

Victoria’s Kaleidoscope Theatre purchased its first portable, igloo-shaped theatre in 2013. Then it acquired another smaller one.

The children’s theatre company will roll both igloos out at Centennial Square for the fourth annual Kaleidoscope Family Theatre Festival.

This is the first time the inflatable theatres have been used by Kaleidoscope (although one was rented to a local music festival).

Why the delay? It’s because the igloos — manufactured by M2B Inflatable of Sofia, Bulgaria — proved to be much heavier and more unwieldy than anticipated, said Roderick Glanville, Kaleidoscope’s artistic director.

The larger of the two, which can house an audience of 150, weighs 1,400 kilograms.

It is 15.2 metres wide and 7.3 metres high when inflated.

It takes a crew of 12, a flat-bed truck and a forklift to set up. And this can be expensive.

“They are large,” Glanville said. “It requires an engineering team to install them and take them down.”

The smaller of the two igloo theatres, which holds 55 people, will host Kaleidoscope’s adaptation of The Little Prince. Performances are 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The other shows are staged in the large igloo. They are:

• Gruff: A Rollicking Musical for Two Goats and a Troll (1 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday)

Based on the folk tale about a troll who lives under a bridge, the Puente Theatre show is written by Mercedes Batiz-Benet and Judd Palmer. Original music is by Brooke Maxwell, co-creator of Ride the Cyclone.

• Winnie the Pooh (11 a.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday)

Adapted by David Elendune with direction by Ian Case, this show reimagines the adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit and Tigger.

Case says: “We’ve taken inspiration from clown turns: Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Monty Python, Mr. Bean, Blackadder, Gilbert and Sullivan and much more.”

• Magic and Mayhem (Saturday 3 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m)

This multimedia tale about a purple pirate hunting for treasure is a one-man show starring award-winning performer Dustin Anderson.

Glanville said The Little Prince will be re-staged next season when Kaleidoscope Theatre returns to the McPherson Playhouse.

What: Kaleidoscope Family Theatre Festival

When: Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Where: Centennial Square

Tickets: $10 children, seniors, students; $12 adults. Online at rmts.bc.ca or 250 386-6121

achamberlain@timescolonist.com