Anansi and the Pot of Wisdom

Justin Audibert
Unicorn Theatre and Illuminations
Unicorn Theatre on YouTube and The Guardian web site

Storytellers Juliet Okotie, Sapphire Joy and Afia Abusham Credit: Unicorn Digital Theatre
Afia Abusham as Anansi Credit: Unicorn Digital Theatre
Afia Abusham as Anansi and Sapphire Joy as the Little Girl Credit: Unicorn Digital Theatre
Afia Abusham as Anansi and Storyteller Juliet Okotie Credit: Unicorn Digital Theatre

The third of the Anansi stories that Unicorn Theatre is streaming uses live actors, artwork and animation to create another lively and engaging presentation that is aimed at young audiences from 3 to 8 years old presented by storytellers Afia Abusham, Sapphire Joy and Juliet Okotie.

This third story about the wily spider Anansi from the culture of West Africa and the Caribbean takes its audience far back in time to when humans and animals could talk to each other and they could all walk on two legs but there were lots of problems and they were always squabbling and fighting so the sky god decided to give them a gift—the gift of wisdom.

Now that sounds a great idea, but the god hadn’t allowed for that artful and greedy arachnid. He wants it all for himself and manages to gather it all up in one big pot.

Despite the addition of Duramaney Kamara’s music and Todd MacDonald’s artwork and editing, this isn’t quite as much fun as the earlier episodes. It’s more obviously a moral tale. But the actors’ lively performances, with Afia Abusham playing Anansi this time, still leap out of the screen, especially in close-up, to make it engaging.

Don’t be surprised if your youngsters demand an immediate second viewing of this for writer / director Justin Audibert has tailored the re-spun Anansi tales to delight them and if you haven’t already joined in on their party song scroll down to it—or find it on YouTube.

Note: The streaming of all three tales has now been extended to 4 July 2020.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton

Are you sure?