I wonder if we go to theatre to re-create, or discover, the childhood experience of sitting in a loving lap and being read a story.
Hobart’s Terrapin Puppet Theatre have been creating and touring children’s theatre since 1981. You and me and the space in between only has four days at the Melbourne Festival and continues this festival’s dedication to ensuring that children and their families can see amazing theatre that’s made for them.
Finegan Kruckemeyer’s story of The Proud Circle Island is like falling into the pages of a storybook. With a paper design (Jonathon Oxlade), the pages come alive with iPad animation (Oslo Davis), live music (Dean Stevenson), puppetry (Felicity Horsley) and the comforting narration of Eve (Katherine Tonkin), who likes wondering about things and was 12 when the water on her island began to rise.
As their home is threatened by the sea, the people decide to leave “all there was” and row their island to through the sea in the hope of finding a place where people will welcome them to safety. They find a land very different to their island and the people of both places meet with a recognisable mix of curiosity and fear.
The allegories are clear, but Sam Routledge’s direction ensures that story and its characters are always at the centre of the many circles. Its telling is welcoming and gentle, even in its dark and scary places, and reminds us all that whispered ideas are as powerful as shouty ones.