Saltbush – Children’s Cheering Carpet | Adelaide Fringe Review
Saltbush – Children’s Cheering Carpet takes children on a magical, playful, Indigenous journey across the Australian landscape using sights and sounds that mesmerise the audience from beginning to end.
You know a show has a winning formula when they can keep toddlers entertained for nearly an hour! After being kindly asked to remove our shoes we were welcomed into the tent to sit on opposite sides of an intimate setting with a ground level stage between us. Children were instantly intrigued by the dark, quiet setting and glowing centre stage as the performers gently make their way out.
With just three performers dressed in white, the narrative is clever yet simple and uses stunning Indigenous visual art, music and dance. The journey begins with a beautiful song as the stage comes to live beneath their feet. From the river to the city, from the ocean to the hot red earth inland, each story is projected onto the moving backdrop and brought to life by the performers.
Within fifteen minutes of the story the first group of children are invited to step onto the stage to try and ‘catch’ the lily pads floating downstream. Little ones squeal with delight as they jump and run across the stage. Once back with their parents they can’t wait to do it again.
Children are given many opportunities throughout this interactive show to join the performers and role play the different scenes projected onto the stage from above – such as crossing busy roads and avoiding the speeding traffic and dancing around mimicking emus and kangaroos. Even the shy ones eventually couldn’t resist to have a turn!
An absolute highlight was the beautiful night setting with twinkling stars shining down from above. As the netting is pulled across the stage the audience is invited to crawl underneath and experience this magical setting first hand.
The show subtly teaches us about Aboriginal culture through basic yet thoughtful stories, about their spiritual connection to the land, how well they know our native animals and even demonstrates how a boomerang returns.
Saltbush – Children’s Cheering Carpet has been beautifully choreographed and is ideal for kindy and preschool aged children, yet perfectly enjoyable for older children and adults too. It was an absolute joy to experience.
There are no more performances for this year’s Fringe, but hopefully Saltbush – Children’s Cheering Carpet returns for the 2019 Fringe season.
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