Starchaser is a wonderful piece of theatre. A magical world filled with self-discovery. Although this play is aimed towards 8-12 year olds, any adult would find something to cherish in Starchaser with its richly woven plot and wonderfully imagined visuals.
I cannot stress to you enough how much I would like you to all see this show. In a world where young (and old) people often learn about life and death through all the wrong channels, and sometimes without much guidance in dealing with the aftermath, this is a breath of fresh air. This is a fantastical world which takes us on a gentle journey of learning to cope with loss and all it’s crazy by products.
Bubbly Catta is turning 13, her younger brother Tommy is crying to her about their parents. They are orphans because their parents have died mysteriously on the other side of the world. Catta does not cry because she believes that if she never cries then her parents might one day come back. Catta makes a wish for her birthday and a whole new world is revealed to her. Her toy lion comes to life and she watches her bed turn into a spaceship. Lion tells her that she is the Starchaser and that she must rescue a dying star to help bring back her parents.
Catta and Lion set off on their quest by launching into space, which is brought to life by wacky illustrations of stars and meteors projected around the bed. These marvelous illustrations go on to reveal planets of water and pirates, boys and bullies, animals and crowns and stars filled with magic. The set, costumes and props are all colourful and do a top job helping create all the different worlds. The sound is integrated beautifully and well enhances the tension of the piece.
Lally Katz has cleverly created a concise script where the name of each planet and place invokes all the appropriate images. Each scene moves along at a bright pace and keeps a young audience engaged, sometimes with the help of a narrator. Anne-Louise Sarks played determined Catta throughout the play. Phil McInnes, Jamieson Caldwell, and Jessica Clarke all transformed between a number of characters. All of the actors did beautifully and truthfully portray their bold characters.
Starchaser has been in the pipeline for three and a half years. As a result the creative team has drawn all the pieces together flawlessly. They have created a cohesive and varied landscape where a Space Hunter, and an evil Lion King live. Where black holes transport you, space age cities crumble and an ocean of sunken ships bob.
If you follow this link http://www.arenatheatre.com.au/userfiles/file/Starchaser.PaperPlayset_.pdf
you can print out and colour in your very own Starchaser Paper Play-scape- which I will be doing when I finish this review. Then, if you have a child in your life between 8-10 please give them the gift of this joyous show on Saturday. They’ll be so transported they won’t even realise they’ve learnt something.