By Finegan Kruckemeyer
Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Directed by Noel Jordan
Designed by Alicia Clements, Quincy Grant and Trent Suidgeest
Performed by Ella Hetherington, Jo Morris, Sarah Nelson and Drayton Morley
Subiaco Arts Centre
Until July 21
The most important thing is always the telling of the story; children demand imagination and clarity, and adults deserve it. This is the secret of fables and fairy stories, and it’s the standard by which theatre for children can best be judged.
By that measure, and plenty of others beside, Barking Gecko’s show for these school holidays, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, was a genuinely enjoyable experience for the parents, grandparents and stray adults in the audience. For the kids (the play is recommended for six-year-olds and up), I turned to the infallible wriggle-meter, and the needle swung well away from “Bored and Restless” to the “Got ‘Em” end of the dial after a bit of customary early shuffling, and despite a little impatience towards the end (the play might be just a smidgen long).
As always with kids, the more their imagination is engaged, the more their interest is aroused. The fabulous scenes where Morris’s Beatrix’s lighthouse ship, made from a lantern, a bucket and a whisk, sails away to adventure, and where Hetherington’s fierce Albienne, full of Joan of Arc-like martial ardour, fights off the invaders with flour and ice-cream scoops, had them especially gripped and entranced.
Link here to the complete review in The West Australian