THE Blunderbus Theatre Company from the United Kingdom is back with a restaging of the much-loved children's play The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark. Presented here once again by Gardner & Wife Theatre, the play by Jill Tomlinson is currently being staged at the PJ Live Arts theatre at Jaya One. The last time Blunderbus was here with a performance of The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark was in 2012. This theatre company is no stranger to Malaysia, having previously staged The Selfish Crocodile, Giraffes Can't Dance, Elmer the Elephant, and How to Catch a Star here. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark begins with young Sam (played by Emily Sly) who is out camping with her brothers (James Ward and Sam Hoye). Sam is always afraid of the dark. Her fears are initially laughed off by her brothers but eventually, they try to help her overcome her phobia by getting her to join in as they re-enact the thrilling story of Plop. Plop is a baby barn owl that lives at the top of a tall tree, in a field. He looks just like any other barn owl, except for the fact that he is afraid of the dark. One day, his dad suggests that Plop flies down into the world and finds out about the dark for himself. This is when he encounters the night-time world of fireworks, thanks to an enthusiastic little boy as well as moonlit adventures with an old lady, and fun around the campfire with two scouts. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark is a reassuring tale targeted at children between three and seven years old, and brought to life with an irresistible blend of live music, puppetry and storytelling. With a simple set to resemble three colourful mountains, the actors run around the set for costume changes, each playing several characters, as well as acting as the puppeteers for Plop. During the recent preview show, we noticed the actors mingling with the children and the accompanying adults in the audience before the show. During the show itself, the actors constantly called out and talked to various members of the young audience. Mr Owl even threw Plop's 'poop' (actually some furry objects) into the audience, but the children being the good sports that they were, returned them after the show. Overall, it was fun for the youngsters, who had a ball of a time joining Plop in discovering that "the dark is magical". The Blunderbus Theatre Company is staging The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark at PJ Live Arts daily except Saturdays until March 23. It will break to do a three-day performance at the KuAsh Theatre in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, from March 7 to 9, before heading to the Performing Arts Centre of Penang at Straits Quay, for three performances on March 11. For more, visit PJ Live Arts (www.pjlivearts.my) and TicketPro (www.ticketpro.com.my).