The Lost Thing based on the book by Shaun Tan. Jigsaw Theatre Company directed by Greg Lissaman, designed by Richard Jeziomy. The Small Theatre, National Gallery of Australia. Thursday October 7, 2004: 10.30am, 3.45pm. Friday and Saturday October 8-9: 10.30am, 1pm, 3.45pm. Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 6240 6504.
Whatever age you are you will be entranced by this latest Jigsaw production. Set for 8-13 year-olds, families at the opening performance from toddlers to rather more ancient people like me experienced 50 minutes of fascination.
Go to see it here before it moves on to the Sydney Festival and other places, especially because the architecture and art of the National Gallery are built into the show, and the Small Theatre allows for the complete theatre-in-the-round format which makes this combination of actors, puppets, complex set and electronic media work so well.
After the show, take the children (and yourself) on a journey around the gallery following The Lost Thing Chidren's Trail. Your Children's Festival map takes you to 12 strange and wonderful works of art, all representing the theme of the play. A young boy is fixated on collecting bottle tops, but on the beach discovers an amazing creature. Cleanliness is next to tidiness, say the beach inspectors, vacuuming the bottle tops, but at the end of the day the Lost Thing has nowhere to go.
For the toddlers the story of searching for the Lost Thing's home is dramatic enough, but for the 12 year-olds the multi-media is exciting, and there is an extra dimension. They can identify with the boy's sense of being just a bit different from everyone else, wondering about the nature of things, searching for where he belongs. For their parents there is a new understanding of how their children need to take off and find their own way. Beyond this level, the play is about the need for art and exploration in everyone's lives.
Very highly recommended. One mystery: see if you can work out where the live security cam is.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
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