A dance-music theatre piece for children and their grown-ups about the little world in the grass, inspired by the poetry of Frederico García Lorca.
Go outside. Look under a leaf. Turn over a log. Part the grass and look very very carefully. What do you see?
In a world where a dew drop is the size of a swimming pool and a flower is as tall as a skyscraper, an insect falls in love with a beautiful butterfly.
A heart-warming story in miniature about love, friendship, reaching for the moon and dancing leaf to leaf. Swim with the shadow-fish to the ocean and fly with a nightingale all the way to the romantic stars.
Suitable for ages 3+
In 2009 we set out to explore the poetry which Federico García Lorca wrote for his nieces and nephews and the story of his very first play, ʻThe Butterflyʼs Evil Spellʼ Lorca’s is colourful, imaginative and stimulating – drawing its imagery and metaphor from the minutiae of the natural world. It is replete with Lorcaʼs renowned depth and bittersweet melancholy whilst also retaining a playful lyricism.
The playʼs story, of a bug who falls in love with a butterfly and all the other insectsʼ opinions on this, provides us with an amusing and engaging narrative through which to explore the themes of love, friendship, poetry, expectations and ambitions which will interest and delight our intended audience.
As well as being a talented poet, playwright and illustrator Lorca was also a brilliant musician. The music of the piece was inspired by Lorcaʼs own compositions as well as by the sounds of the natural world (the wind, crickets singing, bees humming, etc.). Many of the poems were written for Andalusian folk music, with one poem in particular, La Tarara, still sung by almost every child in Spain, this influenced our own score.
Through our research we have realised how powerful the combination of poetry and the natural world is. One of our workshops saw children creating their own poems after studying some insects - their use of imagery, metaphor, and language was enhanced and vibrant.
Partnered with Oxford University Museum of Natural History, we worked with an entomologist to bring the insect world to life. Through a workshop environment, including school children, creative practitioners, and the entomologist, we looked at the movement of insects, the sounds and songs they make, their natural habitat, and their life-cycle to create the piece.
We will facilitate workshop and work in progress presentations in schools. Our workshops will were split in two, initially we looked at the natural history and science aspects of entomology, once we’ve all (children and practitioners) got an understanding of the science we explored the subject creatively. In these workshops the participants got to hold a tarantula, walk like a stick insect, see how a scorpions can glow in the dark and explore how the insects move and what they might look like in the show.
- Directed by: Daphna Attias
- Dramaturg: Rachel Barnett
- Designed by: Jenny Hayton
- Music by: Yaniv Fridel
- Cast: Maya Politaki, Christian From, Igor Urzelai
This production is no longer touring. You can view an archive of The Bug and the Butterfly's performance history below, and see the What's On page for other productions which may be touring now.
- The Curve, Leicester, UK
- Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury, UK
- Stamford Arts Centre, Stamford, UK
- Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton, UK
- The Theatre, Chipping Norton, UK
- Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, UK
- University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, UK
- Half Moon Theatre, London, UK
- Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, UK
- Jackson's Lane, London, UK
- The Egg, Theatre Royal, Bath, UK
- Barnsley Civic Theatre, Barnsley, UK
- Arts Depot, London, UK
- Northcott Theatre, Exeter, UK
- New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, UK
- New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, UK
- Polka Theatre, London, UK
- Albany, London, UK
- Corn Exchange, Newbury, UK
- Rich Mix, London, UK
- Chelsea Theatre, London, UK
- South Hill Park, Bracknell , UK
- Brighton Dome, Brighton, UK
- Lyric Hammersmith, London, UK
- Mumford Theatre, Cambridge, UK
- The Octagon, Bolton, UK
- Oxford Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK
- Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, UK