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Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall

Suitable for children aged  3-7 and their families.
Performed in English with a little Japanese.

Little Sunshine and Little Rainfall invite you to their magic garden. But
trouble is afoot for the gardeners when naughty Storm Fox comes to visit.
All the creatures in the garden must think quickly to save their homes and
families. Perhaps wise old Turtle has the answer?

Blending Japanese folklore with traditional music and dance, and inspired
by haiku and origami, this exciting and beautiful show is brought to you by
the same creative team as the highly successful, *Paper Washi Wish*.

The Stagereview by Susan Elkin

Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall

Tuesday 2 October 2012

“Two gardeners tell a story for very young audiences – and play all the parts in this devised piece.

We are in an all seasons Japanese Garden, in which set items of simple orange, green and white, together with imaginative props, connote spring, autumn and winter. 

Kumiko Mendl is the cheerfully amoral Storm Fox who whips up a storm and then stalks insouciantly around the garden, causing havoc and distress by ruthlessly eating tadpoles, baby snails and stealing Mr Bear’s honey. Mendl’s acting has an unusual quality of sparkling clarity.

The other animals – all played with total conviction by Haruka Kuroda – object to Storm Fox’s behaviour. The story is about the gradual resolution of conflict, assisted at the last by all the children in the audience making origami flowers.

Both actors move like characters in a Japanese painting, and are masters of physical theatre. Kuroda’s burly, gruff Mr Bear is especially memorable, but her every cameo is entertaining and fun.

Julian Butler’s haunting music – the performers do some singing – is all based on Japanese tunes, rhythms, nursery songs and folk melodies. It adds up to a charming little show, which manages unobtrusively to pack quite a lot of issues about kindness, thoughtfulness and respect for others into a short time.” 

Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall tour 2012 is off to a flying start with some lovely audience feedback:

“it was absolutely wonderful and magical and poetic. It made us dream, travel, laugh, smile, marvel ..”
“great show ! making the flowers was a magical moment”
“the bear was the best”
“I love your show”
“turtle made me cry he was so lovely”
“very creative show for the little one, love the fox”


Age range: for children 3 years + their families.
Duration: 50mins, including story and a short origami experience.
Performance area: 6m x 6m square open space.
Get-in/out: 2 hours get in, 1 hour get out
Audience number: Unlimited.
Technical requirements:
Theatre venues:
Lighting plan to be submitted in advance.
Rural Touring: flexible.
Music: CD.
Number on tour: 3

The Creative Team:

Kumiko Mendl   Performer – trained at the Jacques Lecoq Theatre School in Paris.   Since then she has worked as an actress, teacher, movement director and director.  She is one of the founding members of the award-winning British East Asian theatre company – Yellow Earth and is now its Artistic Director.

Haruka Kuroda Performer – trained at Guildford School of Acting. As well as working as an actress in TV, Film, Theatre and as a voice-over artist, Haruka is also a fight director and a teacher of Stage Combat and Sanjuro martial arts.

Vicky Ireland MBE  Director/Writer – trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and then worked as an actress in TIE and repertory theatres all over Britain. She presented BBC’s TV’s WORDS AND PICTURES for twelve years. From 1989 to 2002 she was Artistic Director of Polka Theatre for Children, London and is now a freelance director and writer.

Julian Butler Composer – trained in music at Liverpool University and in acting at LAMDA. Recent credits include: Charlie and Lola’s Best Best Bestest Play (Polka Theatre/Watershed tour), music and lyrics for Run! A Sports Day Musical (Polka Theatre) and Beauty and the Beast (Lawrence Batley Theatre). The new Charlie and Lola show, Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play opens at Sydney Opera House this Christmas.

Richard Aylwin  Design Consultant – Richard is an artist, and a maker of prepared spaces and moving image. He has had an extensive career as a designer for theatre and opera and more recently as a film maker.

Azusa Ono  Lighting Designer – studied fine arts in Japan and trained in lighting design at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Recent design includes: Copyright Christmas (Barbican Centre), Choreogata (South Bank), A Song of Love (Gate Theatre), The Little Big Woman (Oval House Theatre).