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REVIEW: Pico and the Golden Lagoon

REVIEW: Pico and the Golden Lagoon

Pico puppets

REVIEW: Pico and the Golden Lagoon

WORDS: Lucy Budzynski

Pico’s Puppet Palace presents Pico and the Golden Lagoon. The show is by the talented duo Sally Miller and Jesse Hamilton. Sally is the puppeteer handling many puppets excellently, whilst Jesse plays the acoustic guitar and other instruments.

Pico is the young pilot of a yellow bi-plane. One day she is out making deliveries when she finds herself suddenly without fuel and makes a crash landing in a golden lagoon on a mysterious island. Here, we learn, lives David – a marooned naturalist, and along the way, we meet a colourful bunch of animals and, finally, a shimmery, dancing dragon. In this story about courage, friendship and nature Pico must find a way to fuel her plane to continue her deliveries and eventually make her way home.

Pico puppet theatre

The show uses re-purposed and recycled materials, puppetry and music in the captivating adventure story. The story is appealing and engaging for both parents and children alike. In particular, the audience is invited to participate through music, dance and questions which makes for a fun and enjoyable time with the kids.

The highlight of the show was the full moon dragon boogie. And our four-year-old expert reviewer says “I liked the gold dust the best” – which is special magic gold dust from the dancing dragon.

Pico and the Golden Lagoon is an entertaining puppet show with talented artists both in puppetry and music. I highly recommend taking yourself and your children to see their next Fringe show Pico under the Coral Sea.

Pico under the Coral Sea

Friday, March 18th at 11 AM

Saturday, March 19th at 2 PM

Venue: Domain Theatre at Marion Cultural Centre, Oaklands Park

For tickets:

adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/pico-under-the-coral-sea-af2022

 

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REVIEW: ROALD DAHL AND THE IMAGINATION SEEKERS

REVIEW: ROALD DAHL AND THE IMAGINATION SEEKERS

Roald Dahl Imagination Seekers review adelaide fringe

REVIEW: ROALD DAHL AND THE IMAGINATION SEEKERS

WORDS: CARLA CARUSO

This show is a stroll down memory lane for Gen-X-aged parents – and loads of fun for young Roald Dahl fans.

It’s the Australian premiere for the two-person, UK production, Roald Dahl and The Imagination Seekers, at the Adelaide Fringe.

The performance is fully commissioned and endorsed by the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and is the only interactive show under licence worldwide.

Roald Dahl Fringe Review

In the show, actors Nerine Skinner (as “Brenda”) and Robbie Capaldi (“Terry”) play ‘tale tenders’ from a secret organisation. Their job? To look after stories, remember them, and make sure that people are reading the tales to keep them “alive and fresh”.

As a writer, I love this idea – the reminder that a person’s art can live on long after they’re gone!

The challenge for the tale tenders, though, is that invisible ‘wurble-gobblers’ are eating words out of books. Hence, they need the kids in the audience to help bring the words back.

During the show, it warmed my heart to hear kids calling out their favourite Dahl books – from The BFG (apparently also the UK author’s fave) to James and the Giant Peach (his first story, published back in 1961).

Dahl, by the by, wrote more than 20 kids’ books. The key to his success, he once said, was “sympathising with children, realising that to children; parents and schoolteachers are the enemy”.

Also part of his charm was the delightful made-up words he’d often use. It was fun being reminded of such doozies as ‘snozzwangers’ and ‘whangdoodles’.

Other highlights during the show included the audience having to perform an ‘ugly-off’, acting as either Mr or Mrs Twit (the nasty ex-circus trainers from his book, The Twits).

Terry also recalled a special message from that tale: “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.”

The props during the show were kept to a minimum, although a few magic tricks were performed, including words disappearing and reappearing on a page. The lack of bells and whistles didn’t stop the young attendees from being riveted throughout.

Near the end, Brenda says: “I don’t know where I end, and the stories begin. I keep them close to my heart.” And I feel the same about the books I love!

There’s also a nice, feminist-y twist when the roles flip, and the female assistant becomes the superior to the male.

After the show, I was straight on to my library’s app, reserving Dahl books to share with my kids. (Although, I still find The Witches and the sorceresses with their bald heads and oversized nostrils a bit creepy…)

ROALD DAHL AND THE IMAGINATION SEEKERS

Dates & Times:

March 5-6, 12-14, 19-20 at 11:30am and 2:30pm

Venue: Gluttony – Rymill Park, Adelaide city

For tickets:

adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/roald-dahl-and-the-imagination-seekers-af2022

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REVIEW: The Alphabet of Awesome Science

REVIEW: The Alphabet of Awesome Science

alphabet of awesome science review

REVIEW: THE ALPHABET OF AWESOME SCIENCE

WORDS: CARLA CARUSO

Calling all word nerds and science geeks … this is the show for you!

Professors Lexi Con and Noel Edge (real names: Emma Bargery and David Lampard) are the stars of the kids’ show, The Alphabet of Awesome Science.

Their show’s premise? To conduct 26 experiments onstage, relating to 26 big ‘sciencey’ words, in 52 minutes – while a timer counts down.

As they say, every show is completely different as audience members are asked to call out letters at the start and this order dictates how the show will run.

alphabet of awesome science review

Emma reminded me of a cartoon character like Inspector Gadget’s Penny as she dashed about the stage in her yellow Cons, yelling ‘next word!’ and reeling off facts. David, meanwhile, was more like The Nutty Professor, bringing the poo and wee gags, and Dad jokes. (For one experiment, surrounding a fog-filled bottle, he quipped: “I tried to catch the fog the other day, but I mist.”)

There were experiments involving smoke ‘doughnuts’, a fire tornado, and an oversized straw sprinkler (which doused the crowd). Many of the stunts drew oohs and aahs from the young attendees.

Along the way, I learned some fun facts, like that the average adult expels 2L of urine per day, that some of the grossest-sounding English words are ‘pustule’ and ‘yeast’ (I’d concur), and that, thanks to physics, a balloon won’t burst on a bed of nails.

Kids in the crowd also got sprayed with water-blasters and had to choose between a Bluey or Elsa toy getting their own drenching.

alphabet of awesome science review

Some of the science chatter onstage went over my head – many of the words could’ve belonged in Pip Williams’ The Dictionary of Lost Words, they were that obscure. And a few of the experiments I would’ve liked the duo to have lingered longer on, but, alas, that wasn’t the point of the show.

The Flamingo tent was packed to the gills – or, perhaps, the feathers – for the performance. (Best to go for the tiered seating if you don’t want your littlies complaining about their view.)

If biology class at school had been more like this show, I might’ve paid more attention. Fun and educational … who knew?

THE ALPHABET OF AWESOME SCIENCE

Sat 26 Feb: 1pm
Sat 5 Mar: 1pm
Sat 12 Mar: 1pm
Sat 19 Mar: 1pm

Venue: The Flamingo at Gluttony – Rymill Park

For tickets: 

adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/the-alphabet-of-awesome-science-af2022

 

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REVIEW: GAME ON 3

REVIEW: GAME ON 3

game on 3 review

REVIEW: GAME ON 3

WORDS: CARLA CARUSO

I’m not a gamer, but my twin boys – aged seven – are.

So, when I spied a Minecraft diamond sword on the poster for Game On 3, I knew it’d be right up their street.

As we lined up for the show, we were handed bags, containing small Nerf guns and darts and an Among Us beanie to use during the performance. (For the uninitiated, Among Us is an online multi-player game, surrounding imposters and space, and, well, that’s about all I know. We were also assured that all the gear’s sanitised between shows.) Already, my boys were excited.

The performance kicked off with host – and computer game aficionado – Matty Grey jumping onstage in a bright orange spacesuit. As he told the crowd: “This is a loud show. If I’m too loud for you, you’re too old!”

With the help of his wife, he then took us on a journey to solve a crime, with computer games being played out IRL and involving the audience. This even included games the adults could reminisce about, from the ‘70s table tennis-themed Pong (with the ping pong ball being swapped for a coronavirus fuzz-ball) to Donkey Kong, where attendees helped to bounce inflatable barrels around the crowd while wearing (COVID-friendly) plastic gloves.

game on 3

Throughout the show, Matty slipped in intriguing gaming tidbits, like that, apparently, more Aussies play Minecraft than go to church – and that the video game played most by mums is Candy Crush. Okay, here’s one more: Nintendo originally started way back in 1889 as a playing cards company.

During an onstage game of Call of Doody (à la Call of Duty), a Super Mario lookalike from the audience had to hold up a toilet while two volunteers tried to ‘net’ poo emoji cushions. As Matt quipped: “It’s not every show that you get to throw poo around.” Indeed.

The kids got to wield the Nerf guns during an onstage reenactment of the ‘80s game, Attack of the Mutant Camels. Though, they were told, strictly, to stay in their seats while taking aim, so as not to break any COVID-19 rules.

I left the performance, vowing to take more interest in what my boys play and to one day soon give Among Us a try.

Sidenote: For those with sensory sensitivities, there are flashing lights and loud noises during the show.

GAME ON 3

Venue: Melba Spiegeltent at Gluttony – Rymill Park

Dates & times:

Sat 26 Feb – Sun 27 Feb: 3:15pm
Sat 5 Mar – Sun 6 Mar: 3:15pm
Sat 12 Mar – Mon 14 Mar: 3:15pm
Sat 19 Mar – Sun 20 Mar: 3:15pm

For tickets:

adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/game-on-3-af2022

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REVIEW: Best of Kids Fringe

REVIEW: Best of Kids Fringe

best of kids fringe feature

REVIEW: Best of Kids Fringe

WORDS: CARLA CARUSO

Are you the type to go the banquet menu at a restaurant because you don’t want to get food envy?

Then Best of Kids Fringe at Gluttony should satiate you – and your kids – just as well!

Basically, it provides a taste test of a few acts with the line-up changing week-to-week, so you never know what you’re going to get.

best of kids fringe review

Best of Kids Fringe

The day we went the show kicked off with Irish comic magician Patrick “Paddy” McCullagh, who knows how to pull off a kilt and has a lilt like Jimeoin. As the warm-up act, he did a bunch of magic tricks – involving rope, thread, and cards – in between the ‘main courses’.

He also provided a reminder of how the pandemic had changed things, mentioning that he wasn’t allowed to have any junior helpers up onstage. (Audience members also had to sit one seat apart.)

Best of Kids Fringe Review

Next it was onto circus performer Hannah Cryle, who’s also involved in The Best of Ladies’ Night at Gluttony. She was like a human Rainbow Brite doll with her glitter eyeshadow, fur-topped sneakers, and perpetual smile.

She sprinkled in some humour for the adult attendees while performing with contortion rings – “I finished my maternity leave in time for the pandemic, so now more than ever my head is the smallest bit”. Plus, when hula-hooping to Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Paradise City, motivating herself with: “Don’t be nervous, everybody likes you, and they know it’s been a while.”

best of kids fringe review

Following was Dr Bubble, who created dry ice fog bubbles, glowing orbs, and more onstage. The air-con in The Octagon tent had to be turned off during his performance and it did get a little balmy. However, Dr Bubble pushed on, woollen beanie, metallic suit, and all.

Rounding things out were sibling act Calin and Arwen Diamond, of the Diamond Duo. The pair seemed to get along better than my two kids that day, juggling shiny clubs together and getting up-close and personal on the trapeze. (I’ve almost been tempted to do a Carrie and sign up for a trapeze ‘flying’ class, like in Sex and the City.)

Calin provided a laugh for the youngsters when attempting to get out of a straitjacket while on a unicycle. “This looked a lot easier on YouTube,” he quipped.

The show certainly had something to tantalise every tastebud!

Best of Kids Fringe

Venue: The Octagon at Gluttony – Rymill Park, Adelaide SA

Dates:

Sat 26 Feb – Sun 27 Feb: 12:30pm
Sat 5 Mar – Sun 6 Mar: 12:30pm
Sat 12 Mar – Mon 14 Mar: 12:30pm
Sat 19 Mar – Sun 20 Mar: 12:30pm


For tickets:

adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/best-of-kids-fringe-af2022

 

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REVIEW: BUBBA-LICIOUS

REVIEW: BUBBA-LICIOUS

Bubba licious

REVIEW: BUBBA-LICIOUS

Full of energy, music and bub-friendly

WORDS: Caitlin Robinson

If you’re after an affordable, engaging excuse to go to the Fringe with your little tyke then Bubba-licious could be exactly what you’re after.

bubbalicious

Kat and her assistants put on an energetic performance complete with shadow puppets, lights and music. Sing-a-longs include familiar tunes like Twinkle Twinkle and Incy Wincy Spider, and incorporate themed props.

Throw into the mix a few songs which, although unfamiliar, are performed with just as much enthusiasm (and some pretty cool light up costumes!) and you have a performance that most toddlers would stare at in amazement (mine did!)

bubbalicious

It’s simply put together, and you’ll have your little one on your lap, but for a perfectly timed 30 minutes of your day, they’ll be bopping, clapping or eyes-wide with wonder and you can sit back and enjoy, knowing you’re in a child friendly environment around other parents.

With a bit of comedy, lots of singing and some crazy dance moves, Bubba-licious is a show made for toddlers by a mum who knows what they’re all about. Top it off with a lovely stroll in the gardens afterwards and you’ve got yourself a day well spent!

Bubbalicious Event Details

Sat 26 Feb – Sun 27 Feb: 11am, 11:45am
Sat 5 Mar – Sun 6 Mar: 11am, 11:45am
Sat 12 Mar – Mon 14 Mar: 11am, 11:45am
Sat 19 Mar – Sun 20 Mar: 11am, 11:45am

Venue: Ukiyo at Gluttony

For tickets:

adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/bubba-licious-af2022


Reviewer Caitlin Robinson also blogs at Learning to Mum

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