What if everything in your world was suddenly turned upside down – would you embrace it as an adventure or live in fear and despair?
That’s the premise of Children’s Theater’s newest production, “The Borrowers,” a cute play based on the book series by Mary Norton. “The Borrowers” is about the Clocks, a family of “little people” who live in the floorboards and “borrow” things from the human “beans” that live above them (they are called the “Clocks” because they sneak upstairs through the grandfather clock). When their hiding place is discovered by a curious boy, they are set off on an adventure in the outside world to be reunited with other “borrowers” and escape from the mean humans (although not all humans are mean), cats, birds, and other “big” creatures.
The play is recommended for ages 7+, so I took my 6-year-old kindergartener and 7-year-old second grader. At first I was a little worried – the actors’ accents at the very beginning were a little too thick, and I was having a hard time understanding them – I could hardly imagine my 6-year-old understanding any of it. Plus we hadn’t read the book, and I was worried the content would be too high-level for them. Not to worry, though – the actors quickly got into a groove and made the play totally suitable and understandable for this age group (On a side note: I think any younger than kindergarten might be a little tough – no singing and not much music in this one, so it’s really all about dialog and set production!).
I was really curious how this play would be done on stage. Since the Borrowers live under the floorboards, the set would be tricky for sure, I thought. Well, in typical Children’s Theater fashion, their production design was AMAZING. The creativity and imagination of the designers brought the book to life right before our eyes. My kids L-O-V-E-D the set and thought the way the Borrowers interacted with the human boy was (in their own words) “so cool.”
One of our favorite characters was Spiller, a Borrower the Clock family meets out in the wild. He’s dirty and motherless, but resourceful and big-hearted. He saves the Clock family and helps reunite them with other Borrowers. He’s got a great sense of humor that really relates to the kids – he got the most laughs from the audience.
I’ve never seen a Children’s Theater play I didn’t like, and this is no exception. “The Borrowers” is also coming out in movie theaters in a cartoon format, so definitely check out the Children’s Theater production before the movie. My kids and I can’t wait to compare the two!
“The Borrowers” runs now through Feb. 5 at the McColl Family Theatre in ImaginOn. Buy tickets online or call the box office at 704-973-2828 (10-5, M-F). Don’t miss this one!