“In the beginning there was nothing, and then there was everything”.
Trees hold a great significance in humanity’s history, playing an important role in various cultures and major points in the past. They’ve provided means of shelter, warmth, food, building tools, boats, the pages of books and a whole lot in between. Using the overarching metaphor and connection of Trees, Slingsby’s Flying Squad explore the history and personal stories of the performers through five interconnected tales.
This Tree is A Story (about everything, including you, as told by me) is an imaginative, inventive, and artistic theatre production that is perfect for the whole family. The show utilises Slingsby’s unique theatre style of shadow and light-play, incorporating a wealth of eye-catching visions out of the simplest of objects. The main set piece of a desk is even utilised to create shadowed backgrounds that coincide with the stories, making the shapes of a house or a garden wall.
The performers, Alexis West, Delia Olam, Edgell Junior Edgell, Joshua Campton and Jennifer Stefanidis, also helped write and create the show. Together they tell poetic tales of trees that need fire to propagate, macadamia trees and the memories of an adopted woman’s family. They speak on how forests can become books, and books can become forests, the cultural significance of olive trees and coconut trees and the attached bittersweet memories. They even incorporate dance, singing and live music into the show brilliantly.
While this show is aimed at all ages, it would be perfect for children around 8-10 years old, as it could be a little dense information wise at times for those much younger than that.
Slingsby’s Hall of Possibility was a great venue for the show, with an intimate and ambient atmosphere centred around its small stage. Though the seating left much to be desired after the fifty-minute show. With only one row of actual chairs, most of the audience were regulated to rather uncomfortable benches.
This Tree is A Story is an incredible show that showcases Australia’s multiculturalism in a fun and educational theatre production that is perfect for a day out with the whole family.