DreamBIG Children’s Festival. Presented by Drop Bear Theatre, The Seam & Edwina Cordingley. 24 May 2017
Theatre for babies may seem like an indulgent concept to some. There is an understandable tendency to think they are too young for comprehension, and far too young for remembering. For those with a love of music and the stage however, the opportunity to share this with their little one is a very special experience.
Babies are a unique type of audience. They exist in the moment, entirely enthralled if it is interesting and off to discover something else if it is not. Their enjoyment is both audible and adorable - just try and wipe the smile off your face as a baby claps and laughs in appreciation.
So one envies the three players in Rain, as they shall elicit countless such moments during the their run in the DreamBig Childrens Festival. Billed as a "mesmerising and immersive sensory experience", this show is all that and more.
Rain starts with a transition into the piece. Babe-in-arms, we enter a small, black-clad space where long strips of white fabric hang from netting strung above our heads. A soundtrack of wet weather plays as we walk around and amongst the "rain", letting the soft material brush over face and body. With muted light, soft white noise and calming guidance, we are slowly acclimatised to the presence of the show, which is welcoming and relaxed after the stressful rush to get ready and to the theatre in time.
Presently, we are led into the performance space and seated on a soft lamb’s wool rug that edges the white stage. Sarah Lockwood, Carolyn Ramsey and cellist Edwina Cordingley take their positions and it begins. Babies and adults alike are delighted by a mix of cello, voice, percussion, textiles, water, touch, and mist. The trio successfully deliver on a multi-sensory experience.
The audience is intimate at just 10 babies per performance, which sounds small but is actually perfect. After the main event, babies are encouraged to explore the beautifully crafted installation space, allowing them to extend their experience beyond the allotted 40 minutes.
This is an exquisitely simple piece that has been developed with a strong understanding of, and affection for, its target audience. This mummy loved it to the moon and back.
When: 24 to 27 May 2017
Where: Rehearsal Room 1, Adelaide Festival Centre
Bookings: Sold out