Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - TANYA MACNAUGHTON

BARK­ING Gecko The­atre Com­pany will con­tinue its phi­los­o­phy of bring­ing qual­ity chil­dren’s the­atre to as wide an au­di­ence as pos­si­ble by tour­ing In A Dark Dark Wood across Perth dur­ing the school hol­i­days.

Af­ter mov­ing from Su­bi­aco Arts Cen­tre to the State The­atre Cen­tre of WA ear­lier this year, Bark­ing Gecko will per­form shows at UWA’s Dol­phin The­atre (Septem­ber 2324), Ocean Reef’s Pren­diville Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre (Septem­ber 27), Kala­munda Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre (Septem­ber 29), Don Rus­sell Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre in Thorn­lie (Oc­to­ber 4) and Man­durah Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre (Oc­to­ber 6-8).

Bark­ing Gecko artis­tic di­rec­tor Matt Edger­ton, of Su­bi­aco, who is di­rect­ing the pro­duc­tion, col­lab­o­rated with award-win­ning Aus­tralian play­wright Caleb Lewis on this mod­ern take on the Broth­ers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gre­tel.

“I was re­ally ex­cited about sort of at­tack­ing a Grimms’ fairy tale,” Edger­ton said.

“They’re won­der­ful sto­ries that have lasted for hun­dreds of years be­cause they have deep things to say about who we are as hu­mans, but I wanted to do it in a con­tem­po­rary way.

“I thought Caleb would be a per­fect part­ner with that be­cause he’s a won­der­ful lyri­cal writer but re­ally play­ful, and is ob­sessed with Grimms’ fairy tales; he’s walked the Grimms’ fairy tale route in Ger­many, read­ing noth­ing but their fairy tales as he went.”

Edger­ton said he was drawn to Hansel and Gre­tel be­cause of its uni­ver­sal themes.

“There’s some­thing about the cen­tral idea around the fear of aban­don­ment which ev­ery child knows,” he said.

“And most adults have re­pressed it in some way, but it’s still in us.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful story be­cause it ex­plores that in a re­ally full way and fin­ishes with the mes­sage that all of us have the power to find our way home. There’s hope­ful­ness at the end and the idea that the­atre is a safe place to ex­plore dan­ger­ous ideas is true for some­thing like Hansel and Gre­tel.”

In A Dark Dark Wood fea­tures Scott Sheri­dan and Francesca Sav­ige us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of live ac­tion, shadow pup­petry and ob­ject the­atre to tell the spooky and mag­i­cal story suited for au­di­ences six years and older.

“It’s lots of fun, very silly and has an ex­cess con­sump­tion of junk food. But there are some bits that are a lit­tle spooky and might be scary for kids younger than six,” Edger­ton said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d459266

Scott Sheri­dan and Francesca Sav­ige with Bark­ing Gecko artis­tic di­rec­tor Matt Edger­ton.

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