Monday, October 5, 2015

Theatre: The Red Balloon (★★★★)

By Albert Lamorisse
Adapted by Hilary Bell
Black Swan State Theatre Company
Directed by Chrissie Parrott
Set and costumes designed by India Mehta
Lighting designed by Trent Suidgeest
Sound designer and composer Ash Gibson Greig
With Dylan Christidis, St John Cowcher, Ella Hetherington, Eloise Hunter, Ben Mortley and Sarah Nelson

State Theatre Centre Studio
Until 17 October

To successfully adapt a well-known and loved film to the stage takes a little luck and lots of good decision-making.
Hilary Bell’s adaptation of Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 Oscar-winning short film The Red Balloon has both in spades.
In its original form, the story is a simple one, but Bell fleshes out the enigmatic original, largely by the introduction of three animal characters that narrate and comment on the otherwise all-but-wordless action. They are wise and entertaining additions.

It was an inspired decision to invite the celebrated choreographer Chrissie Parrott to direct the show. Her sensibility fits perfectly with the mood of the work, and the dances of balloons, the boy and girl, and the vermin, are highlights.
Kids are the best reviewers of their theatre, and they do it in real time, with laughter, gasps of wonderment and, especially, questions.
There were plenty of all three for this wonderful, impressively staged, story.

Read the complete review in The West Australian.

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