Theatre with child

22 May

The thing I liked about Nyet Nyet’s picnic was that it didn’t compromise. It didn’t lose the perspective (I know I’m supposed to say lens right there) it came from. Well, as far as I could tell it didn’t compromise. From the lens I was using. White, middle-class eyes. Oh look, and I found something to back me up here.

It was pretty scary. I wondered at times whether I really approved of myself letting (making?) my children sit there. Particularly at the one or two points where my eldest boy was petrified. And who wouldn’t be petrified? I mean look at them. Snuff puppets are enormous. Huuuuge. You’re seven years old, you’re in a big dark cavern of a space and the mother bunyip looms over you. That mother bunyip was, without exaggeration, as tall as a not small house. Taller than our house for sure.

And not to mention the towering man with his head caught on fire staggering about the auditorium and roaring a gutteral roar. A lot of the children (including, I think, my youngest) revelled in the frightening, in the way that people do on the Ghost Train or a rollercoaster. Screaming exaggerated screams as the bunyip loomed overheard.

If Dreamtime stories are supposed to act as a cautionary tales, well, in our house it’s worked. I’m pretty confident my kids won’t be getting too close to the campfire that’s for sure.

Through it all, my boys were on high alert. ‘They could come out from any of those corners, Mum’. ‘I didn’t see where that other bunyip went, did you?’ ‘Is there anything else in that lagoon?’

Bunyips? We believe.

But there were fart jokes too. And poo. What makes fart jokes so funny? I just can’t see it.

When it was finished, I let my boy peek behind the curtain to see the lifeless bunyip. Pretty sure it didn’t look lifeless to him. Pretty sure it looked like it had one eye open. Always.

But like I said to him that night when we were snuggled up together in bed (don’t leave until I’m asleep, okay?) if you can handle Ben10* then you’re up for a bit of Dreamtime.

*Watched it on holiday with his Granny – according to the mister, if I’d seen it, I would have been disapproving. Sometimes I wonder: is that my job? To disapprove.

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4 Responses to “Theatre with child”

  1. ampersand duck May 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    Sigh. Ben10. And Gwen10, believe it or not.

    Bumblebee’s best friend is allowed to watch EVERYTHING and B hates the way I won’t let him do the same. So I said B could regularly watch just one of the shows his friend watches. He chose Ben10. (I’m sure it’s produced by the same people who created Mighty Maxm, a show created around a line of toys that we started collecting second-hand years ago because they were so odd. These days cartoons and toys are so chicken-and-egg I’ve lost track of it all.) I think Ben10 is one of the less harmful things his friend watches; the other night when he came for a sleep-over, he turned out to be a bed-time mess with all his fears and insecurities. At least my son can sleep soundly with the light out!

    That play sounds AWESOME. Must see if it’s coming or been our way.

  2. tut-tut May 23, 2008 at 6:09 am #

    Hmm. There is a political theatre group here, Bread and Puppet, with looming figs, but not, I think, frightening in that way.

  3. Bird Bath May 23, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    We were standing around in the parklands during the Fringe Festival watching those enormous puppets when Kindy girl yells out for all to hear. “Look mum! they’re even bigger than yours!” “Hmmm thanks for noticing” I thought.

  4. Helen May 23, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    Oh! The Snuff Puppets are from Footscray!

    Or they were, before the developers chucked them out.

    I love me some Snuff Puppets.

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