The small audience is ushered into the theatre space through a door into what looks like someone’s workroom/garage. It appears we are grandkids and our Mum has dropped us off at Grandad’s place at short notice. She’s driven away, leaving us with a man who barely knows us. He’s thrilled to have us there, although he’s a bit nervous. What’s he going to do to keep us entertained? He’ll tell us his story.
Written by Rachel Callinan from an idea by Stephen Blackburn this is clever storytelling which mostly keeps the attention of even the youngest children. (It’s billed at 5+ but I think that any child who can listen to a story for an hour will be fine.) On the surface the story is a straightforward one about adventures on the high-seas. Underneath it lies the true story of Grandad’s criminal past. It’s very well done and would provide good opportunity for discussion on the way home. Special mention to Theo Wijnsma for the set design. The best blanket fort I’ve ever been inside is constructed around us. Random motorbike components turn into various bits of a pirate ship.
Jason Whyte is Grandad. He’s all fidgety nervous energy. Most of the story is told behind a table, but there’s enough moving around the realistic set to ensure that everyone in the audience is close to the action.
An excellent show for the school holidays.
- Grandad’s Lucky Storm, Hannah Playhouse, until 19 July (2 performances per day.)