When you enter the cool, air conditioned space of the studio at Theatre Aquarius, the simple, creative set takes you out into a grassy field with happy picture book clouds floating on the big screen sky, as pleasant instrumental music fills the air.
When the energetic rabbits, played by Kelly Morden and Emma Letki, hop onto the scene, they make time slow down. It took some effort for me to settle into the pace of the action, which reminded me of walking while holding the hand of a small child, but the children in the audience were attentive and completely engaged.
The storyline was an adventure into the unknown: two friends heading off on their own, leaving the safety of their warren, facing a couple dangers and realizing the importance of working together. Much of the story is communicated through facial expression, body language and actions, which are simple and clear.
The patience with which the actors allowed their story to unfold gave the children a fun and interesting chance to successfully figure out what was going on without being told, and with just a few clues.
Thumped is a wonderful introduction to live theatre for young children. There was constant physical action, dancing, and uncomplicated dialogue. The lighting and picture book images on the big screen effectively conveyed changes in time and place. It was nice to step back into such a sweet, innocent little storybook-brought-to-life experience.
The little girl behind me exclaimed after the applause, "Daddy, this is fun!" which is exactly how I feel about Fringing! Do your kids a favour, take them to the theatre.
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