Imagine a world without colour, where the sky, the trees and the grass are all as white as cotton. It’s a strange world, where eggs fall from the sky to be looked after by two strange men in bobble-hats. Welcome to the world of White, CatherineWheels Theatre Company’s smash-hit show for children aged two to four.
The show has now inspired the world’s first theatrical app for very young children, White takes babies and toddlers inside the performance to catch and care for the eggs, and enjoy an amazing party.
White was created by East Lothian based Hippotrix in partnership with Catherine Wheels
Andy Manley, creator of White, said:
The production has been an amazing success, and has toured all over the world. But we thought an app would be a great way to sprinkle a little bit of White’s magic even more widely, so kids who can’t get to see a live performance can still take part.
It was vital for us to preserve the award-winning designs for the show, along with Andy’s terrific story, so the objects in our app are the actual set and props. We really wanted to help children explore themes like friendship and caring so there are no bouncy cartoon characters – instead, children can recreate their favourite moments from White, and maybe take them further.
Creating a mobile and tablet product for the very young had a number of challenges. Researcher Ben Fletcher-Watson explained:
We analysed the interactions used in a number of Early Years products to find the optimum set-up for very young children. For example, there are no complex tasks that require delicate motor skills, like pinching or multi-finger swipe. Too many apps don’t consider the needs of their users carefully, and we wanted to ensure that the very youngest children could still get the most out of the experience.
Hippotrix will be releasing more children’s theatre apps in the coming months. In the meantime, White is OUT NOW for iOS devices. It will be free while the show is on in Hollywood’s Wallis Theatre until the end of March 2014.