28 September 2010

Review: Short Pants No Holes

Short Pants No Holes
Barking Spider Visual Theatre
28 September 2010
La Mama Theatre
to 1 October 2010

Having recently bought 10 kg of juicing carrots at the farmers' market, the Short Pants No Holes set looks a bit like my kitchen – without the unwashed dishes and the cat food bowls.

Barking Spider Visual Theatre make unforgettable worlds and stories from objects and puppets. Short Pants No Holes lets its young audience create stories that are improvised by Penelope Bartlau and Rachel Edwards. 

There's no putting up you hand and hoping that you're right in this show. It's about yelling out ideas and knowing that they're awesome just because you thought of them. And don't worry if you're not the loudest kid around; you'll still be seen.

By giving ideas, names or places and offering objects to make the stories, the audience (even the grown ups, who are allowed to join in if they behave) create and own the stories they see. There's a lot of skilled improvisation happening on the stage, but the audience are the creative sparks – and not just the kid who wanted all of this afternoon's tales to end with a fire... 

With and without fire, today's stories were brilliant. There was one that began with a tiny sticky pig who lived in bubble and ended with a family barbecue, and one about a family of Phlegmish cardies and a giant lint monster. You don't get that kind of mind-blowing originality at the MTC.

There's also a too-gorgeous "The Three Little Pigs" told with object puppets (tomatoes, carrots and a masher) and everyone gets to name, meet and chat with their own carrot puppet. I left mine for another show because if Clarence had came home with me, he would have been squished to bits in the juicer.

Short Pants No Holes is on at 2 pm until Friday. It's a wonderful introduction to theatre for younger ones and will have them making sure you always have carrots in the vege crisper.

This review appeared on AussieTheatre.com.

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