Skip to content


Lapin Wants Ice-Cream
Published on Friday, 11 May 2012

4 stars

Iambic Arts Theatre (venue website)
5 May, 3:30pm-4:10pm; 6-10 May, 2:30pm-3:10pm
Reviewed by Jonathon Manning

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

For parents hoping to get their child interested in learning a foreign language, Lapin Wants Ice Cream is a great introduction to French.  For the children themselves, Tania Czajka’s show is a fun forty minutes of puppetry, filled with interesting characters.

The plot of the play is simple; Tania has arrived in Brighton from France, and has brought her friend Lapin the rabbit along with her.  On unpacking however, Lapin discovers that it’s far too hot on the ‘little French beach’ where he lives.  It’s down to Tania and her friends to find Lapin some broccoli ice cream to help him cool down.

On entering the Iambic Arts Theatre, each of us is given a list of key French words to aid them through the performance.  But the list is most likely to be used at home as a learning aid instead of during the show itself, since Tania proves fully able to entwine her English with the French keywords without confusing the audience. 

The play itself is interactive, allowing the children to repeat many of the words they will not have previously known, before Tania subtly uses them in conversation.  It’s carefully worked in a variety of ways – most noticeably through allowing the children to call out to the puppet characters, all of whom are named in French after the animal they represent.

Tania is very expressive with her actions, in a way that both entertains and helps the children understand. She creates characters through her use of comic voices, as opposed to lengthy dialogue.  Each of the puppets moves around the stage in their own unique style, although at times Tania is required to use both hands in order to do this, which often seems cumbersome and slightly spoils the overall intended effect.

The set and props are fitting for a play aimed at three- to eight-year-olds, displaying both bright colours and cartoonish charm, while the beach setting – as well as being vital to the story – is a simple yet effective way of brightening up what could have been a dull stage for children.

Lapin Wants Ice Cream is not only a good way to entertain your children but may also sow the seeds for them to want to learn more about the French language.  What really makes this show worthwhile though, is that they probably won’t even notice that they’re learning.

<< Puppet Paramour   The Department of Unrelia... >>


These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.