A NEW piece of theatre based on a best-selling Canadian children’s book is to tour Scotland with performances in Gaelic and English. The visual adventure Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear with puppetry, music and physical theatre for children aged 3-5 is adapted from the French book Voyage au Clair de Lune by Marie-Louise Gay.

Created by Jabuti Theatre the new show is touring schools across the country and is holding public performances during April as part of the Puppet Animation Festival.

The bilingual play uses live music, puppetry and a cast of two to bring Gay’s illustrations to life for small children age three to five. It is described as “a simple, compelling story” about two children and the adventures of imagination.

Gay has written and/or illustrated over 60 board books, picture books and novels for children inspired by her childhood, her own children and her travels.

Jabuti Theatre artistic director and show creator Rachael Macintyre said she was very excited to be bringing Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear to the stage after enjoying the book when she was a child.

“I was reading Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear to my daughter and I realised how brilliant it would be brought to life,” said Macintyre. “The few words and powerful visuals lend themselves perfectly to a show for young children. Marie-Louise Gay created an imaginative, surreal dream-like story with her unique and beautiful illustrations and I was really keen to transform and expand on that dream through play, puppetry, movement and music.”

“Marie-Louise Gay is French-Canadian, so Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear is written in French and English,” she added.

“I began to explore languages in my first children’s show, My City, with Spanish and Gaelic so it felt natural to continue this by translating the book into Scottish Gaelic as well. I had my primary education in Gaelic and I have kept a connection with it as much as I can. I’m also fascinated by languages in general; so many studies have concluded how good bilingualism is for your brain.”

The play is at the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh on Friday, April 1, and is also being staged at the Macphail Centre, Ullapool, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye, Rothes Hall, Fife, as well as in Falkirk, Rutherglen, Dunkeld and Peebles.