As the name suggests, Chicken Licken and the Little Red Hen is the brief telling of three chicken-related fables, as performer Adam Bennett just tries to bake a loaf of bread. An egg is cracked into a bowl, and then suddenly there is a chirp and a little yellow chick sticks out its head. “What do you do with a baby?” Bennet asks. "You weigh it." But there is a bit of a mishap on the scales and a weight falls down on Chicken Licken’s head: “The sky is falling!” he exclaims.
From DNA Puppetry and Visual Theatre, it’s through puppetry these stories come to life: an ever growing chicken; shadow puppet birds; a rat, a cat, and a mouse that look to have been molded from dough; and a terrifically scary looking fox the swoops in to try and eat the chicken, much to the delight of the audience.
The audience are called upon to help drive the storytelling: warning the Little Red Hen of Foxy Loxy approaching, or to tell Foxy Loxy where exactly to find the Little Red Hen. Bennett has to contend with a particularly rowdy audience on a rainy Edinburgh afternoon: as soon as one child realised what would elicit laughs from the audience, everyone was clambering to try. This waylaid the production a bit but as Bennett moved further into the stories and the visual play of the puppetry the audience mostly calmed down and were playing with the show, rather than against it.