My Darling Patricia's Africa heads to Lismore
IT’S hard to imagine two children leaving home to live a new life in Africa, especially at the age of five and six. But that’s exactly what happened two years ago when a couple of German children decided to pack their bags and elope. They jumped on a tram on route to the airport.
Spotted by police, they didn’t make their destination, but within the story an idea emerged.
My Darling Patricia, a theatre company out of Melbourne, was inspired by the tale, combined with the unfortunate stories in the news here in Australia involving neglected children.
The show Africa was born. The man behind the concept and a puppeteer for the show, Sam Routledge, says the show is a story about children for an audience of adults.
“It’s about what we think is the right of all children,” he says. “And that is the right to feel optimistic about the future. Unfortunately not all children feel that way. There are children getting left behind.”
The performance features banraku-style puppets, performance and projection. Africa is about a real story but also the level of imagination and fantasy in a child’s world and how important it is to maintain.
“The idea of using puppets for us is to tell stories as visually as possible,” he says.
Routledge has been involved in community theatre since he was 13 growing up in Bathurst. He has since studied drama and puppetry, working with Sydney children’s theatre specialist Kim Carpenter.
“Africa is a visually spectacular, beautiful, optimistic and moving work,” he says.
Africa is on at the Lismore City Hall, on Saturday, June 11, from 7.30pm. Tickets $37/30/16.50.
Local performers can attend a workshop with Clare Britton and Sam Routledge on Creating Visual Theatre the following day at the Lismore City Hall, from 10am. Tickets $32.