A show which looks at the domestication of dogs, through puppetry with rapping. That alone should be selling anyone on a concept. Ogg ‘n’ Ugg ‘n’ Dogg is a show aiming itself at ages three and over and stretches little in imagination or humour but pushes for aesthetic design, especially with the puppets.
Ogg is a cavewoman, Ugg a caveman, but fret not because they have a tighter grasp of English than most of the audience, who are still figuring out the alphabet. They’re hunter-gatherers, surviving on the land, spending their days singing about foraging, until encountering Tooth and Nail. Tooth and Nail, two wolf puppets, are by far the best aspect of the production.
Here, we take an unexpected, but welcome turn. Tooth and Nail debate joining the ‘two-legs’ asking the audience what they should do, interacting with the kids, playing games and encouraging participation. They have pups and bring in the domestication of wolves into dogs. The big eyes to look appealing, the dropping ears to show the evolution away from apex-predator. It’s a neat educational twist, but suspicions lie it goes above some heads.
Now – yes, this show is designed for kids. Not just kids, quite young children. It is a perfectly pleasant production, which has a team with a vision in mind. Not every piece of theatre for youngsters has to have instilling qualities, educational morsels or ‘something for the grown-ups’. There’s no harm in simplistic, colourful fun, but can we please keep fart-jokes to a minimum?
As it stands, Ogg ‘n’ Ugg ‘n’ Dogg is harmless, with moments of charm but overall feels prehistoric in output. There’s no sense of why this was made, outside of a pleasant afternoon for the younger tots of the Fringe.