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 23-24), 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, 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 performers 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,” Edgerton said.
“But there are some bits that are a little spooky and might be scary for kids younger than six.”
What: In A Dark Dark Wood
Where and when: UWA’s Dolphin Theatre (September 23-24)
Prendiville Performing Arts Centre, Ocean Reef (September 27),
Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre (September 29)
Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Thornlie (October 4)
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (October 6-8)