The Australian bush is a magical place especially if you’ve just watched Dot and the Kangaroo. As a kid there were countless times I wandered into the bush just near our house hoping that the wildlife I encountered would suddenly converse with me as they had for Dot. When I heard that the theatre production Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo was heading to the Sydney Opera House I couldn’t wait to get tickets.
If you haven’t read or watched Dot and the Kangaroo, let me give you a little background. The story revolves around five year old Dot who has become lost in the bush (the film was shot in different locations in the Blue Mountains). Lucky for her she encounters a red kangaroo who has lost her joey and promises to help her find home. Along the way they encounter a plethora of Australian wildlife which helps Dot (and the viewer) increase their love of the Australian bush. Sounds amazing, right? I loved it so much as a kid.
Unfortunately for us, the Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo production debut coincided with our family trip to Japan. I was crushed, but Daniela and her three girls were more than happy to go along and report back for us on this occasion. Hearing about Dot and the Kangaroo from her girls, all city slickers and not familiar with the book or movie, would provide a unique perspective.
Daniela reported that whilst Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo has retained the characters from the book and the movie, it is a little different. Those familiar with the original will be surprised to hear that it is predominately an aerial narrative, themed beautifully to retell the story. All three girls were spellbound from the start.
For Daniela, the highlight of the show was the storytelling. The story of Dot and the Kangaroo are narrated, with the cadence and tone of the storytellers providing such expression that the audience quickly becomes lost within the story as it unfolds. There was not a movement where the family were not engaged.
As mentioned earlier, the aerial how was the most surprising element. Somehow the actors tied the ropes together to depict the kangaroo pouch which was quite incredible. The staging revolves around these ropes without the use of any other props. It sounds quite simple, but what they do with these ropes can’t be explained well. Daniela was lost for words. Intertwined within the rope action is both dance and interactive digital projections of indigenous flora and fauna.
Simple costumes were used so not to distract from the ropes. Different jackets were worn to depict different character and little Dot wore a red dress. It was incredibly effective, allowing the audience to follow along with the narrative despite only a handful of actors playing a multitude of different characters.
Overall, Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo will captivate children and adults alike. For some of us, a certain amount of nostalgia will come into play, but for new eyes it will be just as impressive. There is no doubt that you will walk away tingling with feel good vibes and an enormous smile. A must see.
Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo is in session until Tuesday, 25 April 2017. It runs for around 50 minutes without an interval. Tickets start at $30.00 per person and can be booked directly through the Sydney Opera House.
Daniela and her family were guests of the Sydney Opera House. All opinions are our own.