Terrapin mixes it up in island delight

26 March 2017 Blogger in Chief

It hadn’t really occurred to me until taking my seat in the Peacock Theatre, that my festival choices so far have been fairly adult.

And in some cases very adult.

So what a pleasure it was to be able to enjoy Terrapin’s You and Me and the Space Between with children from quite tiny all the way through to big ones. Like me.

The action in You and Me and the Space Between takes place on the island of the Proud Circle and is told in the sort of impossibly inventive way for which Tasmania’s Terrapin Puppet Theatre is renowned. I leapt to the conclusion that the island of the Proud Circle was Tasmania but I’m not so sure I was right. I like that not knowing: symbol, metaphor or just… an island with a Proud Circle?

Live narration by the fabulous Jane Longhurst and live music/soundscape by the inimitable Dean Stevenson keep the tale of alienation, ostracisation and, ultimately, acceptance rattling along but it’s the clever staging and use of live animation by Hobart artist Tom O’Hern that won me over.

O’Hern is a prolific creator in many media and this is the first time I have seen him, or anyone really, use an iPad so effectively to tell a story in a live setting. His artistic style is perfectly suited to this show – and this audience – and the interaction with Terrapin’s moving set is brilliant.

Fin Kruckemeyer’s script is beautifully written and will sit well with children aged from seven or eight up. I’m not sure it will resonate with younger theatre-goers but there is plenty going on and they certainly won’t be bored.

Maybe get there early and sit near the front so they can see everything unfolding. And keep them close: You and Me and the Space Between features a tremendously realistic thunderstorm and they – or you – might need a hand to hold.

Last performance at the Peacock Theatre today.

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