Dr Brown (Phil Burgers) and his Singing Tiger (Stuart Bowden) are going on an adventure! They are, however, woefully unprepared and are going to need all the help they can get to prepare for their journey. Luckily, they have a whole audience of eager kids and their somewhat-less-eager adults to give them a hand. The adventure may not go exactly as planned, but it’s a whole lot of fun, incredibly silly and contains just enough danger to make things interesting.
The show is an hour of unmitigated chaos. After a quiet beginning, it didn’t take long for the kids to get comfortable with the idea that they had permission to be a bit naughty. They threw themselves wholeheartedly into the participation segments, sometimes taking things a bit too far and needing to be collected from the stage by their adults or swept back in the direction of their seats by some wonderful and patient Arts Centre staff. If there is one image that will be burned into my brain from this show, it will be Burgers and Bowden looking just a little scared as they were surrounded by a swarm of rogue children. It filled my heart with joy.
Burgers and Bowden are a perfect team. Dr Brown gets the kids riled up without saying a word. His cheeky acts of mayhem and general cluelessness are incredibly endearing. Bowden’s Singing Tiger gently keeps things on track with his adorable songs and calm reminders that maybe we shouldn’t copy everything Dr Brown does as he is a terrible, terrible role model. Beneath all the pandemonium, this show has a lot of heart, and there are some beautiful lessons about the wonders of adventure and learning – very cleverly elicited from the kids themselves. Of course, as they did on the day I attended, the kids can also deliver some less beautiful truths, like telling Burgers and Bowden to their faces that they are annoying “just because”.
Dr Brown and his Singing Tiger is an anarchic delight for the little ones, and as an adult who’s not quite ready to be a grown-up yet, I loved it too. Take your kids, borrow someone’s kids, or pretend to be a kid and have some fun.
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and his Singer Tiger is on at the Fairfax Studio at the Arts Centre until April 5