REVIEW: Sir Scallywag & the Golden Underpants: Family Concert

If ever I was going to be enticed into accompanying my two six-year-old children to an afternoon with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, it would be when there are bum jokes involved. I’m sorry, but that’s just how we roll. A rainy afternoon in June was the perfect opportunity to go on a whimsical adventure with composer/presenter Paul Rissman and the ASO, as a part of the 2018 Festival of Learning.

Based on the book Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants by Giles Andreae and Korky Paul, the interactive storytelling experience with accompanying music and projected images, told the story of the bravest Knight in the kingdom, six-year-old Sir Scallywag. Courageous young Scallywag was tasked to outwit a wicked giant who had stolen the King’s underpants, which just happened to be made of solid gold; all within the respectable time limitation set by a benevolent King, of one single, solitary hour.

Internationally acclaimed Paul Rissmann, accompanied by vocalist Rachel Bruerville, was the perfect storyteller; engaging and witty, he had the children in the palm of his hand. There were wide eyes and cheeky grins dotted throughout the packed Grainger Studio, with children of all ages enthralled by the story and completely enraptured by the accompanying music from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Naturally, a peel of guffaws echoed through the room each and every time the word “bottom” was used!

At the conclusion of the show, many of the musicians from the Orchestra took the time to meet with children and show them their instruments, at which point I learnt the hard way that saying “that’s a good-looking oboe” sounds really dirty when I say it. [Will I never learn??]

This was definitely a worthy introduction to an orchestral performance for the kids and the overarching message of the story, that being small never stopped anyone from being courageous and clever, well received by adults and children alike.

Paul Rissmann – Composer & Presenter
Graham Abbott – Conductor
Rachel Bruerville – Vocalist

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