The Narrator – DreamBig Children’s Festival Review
The Narrator is a clever production that takes audience members on a bus journey while watching a narrated performance play out at various locations around the city. The Narrator makes the audience question where reality begins and ends while interweaving storytelling, humour and intrigue.
The novel bus journey began at King William Rd and looped through and around the western parts of the city of Adelaide to places like the ‘Wonderland’ (aka a patch of dirt located adjacent Plant 4 Bowden), the ‘dark forest’ (aka a large park in North Adelaide), parks, a cemetery, a soccer field and even a tiny lane off Gouger St. The bus driver is to be applauded for his excellent driving skills and his ability to become a part of the show when needed.
The novelty and slight sense of anticipation at the start of the bus journey had me questioning whether the show was actually going to start, or whether our narrator had missed his stop! At least 5 minutes had passed on our journey before the narrator boarded the bus.
What I didn’t realise at the time was that the show had commenced with a lady who boarded the bus at the last minute and appeared to be an ordinary traveller. I thought she had accidentally boarded the bus thinking it was a real metro bus and felt embarrassed for her until I realised she was actually part of the performance. She disembarked along King William Rd then was included in the narrator’s story several minutes later as we drove down Gouger Street. It was this sense of crossing reality with performance that made this show exceptionally interesting. This blurring of lines continued with our narrator pointing out small details about seemingly unrelated people walking along the street and candidly tying them into the story.
Our Narrator was delightfully witty, funny and entertaining as he recounted the story of a boy who did not “fit in” with his peers. The boy’s grandmother bought him a yellow raincoat so that other children would notice him and invite him to play. Instead, he became more isolated, angry and lonely until he met his arch-nemesis and former best friend, ‘the girl’ who created trouble for him causing him to withdraw to quiet places to escape. A chase then ensued between the pair as the girl sought to apologise and reconcile with him.
As the story progressed, we passed the boy fixing his bike at Whitmore Square wearing his yellow raincoat, then saw him playing at a West Terrace Playground before sighting him at soccer training at Ellis Park. All the while, the Narrator never missed a beat in telling the story while engaging younger members of the audience, making everyone laugh (even the adults), creating a sense of suspense and anticipation and improvising perfectly when traffic was slow or when the bus “broke down”. He was simply mesmerising. He was also adept at only engaging the younger audience members and sensing when the older kids and adults were keen just to watch instead.
Glimpsing the performers either from a distance through the window and sometimes up close made me feel as though I was really watching real-life play out and it was an extremely clever way to tell this interesting story.
This is a fantastic show for ages 4 and up – it is engaging, very funny, clever and intriguing.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the DreamBIG website here
What: The Narrator | DreamBIG Children’s Festival
When: Wednesday 19 – Saturday 29 May 2021
Where: Adelaide Festival Centre, King William St, Adelaide and various locations around Adelaide
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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