CHILDREN'S THEATRE REVIEW:Golden Valley

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Following the successful season of Dorothy Hewett’s The Chapel Perilous at La Mama in 2007, this group of independent artists come together again as Perilous Productions to present Golden Valley
CHILDREN'S THEATRE REVIEW:Golden Valley
Following the successful season of Dorothy Hewett’s The Chapel Perilous at La Mama in 2007, this group of independent artists come together again as Perilous Productions to present Golden Valley Golden Valley was first performed at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 1981; won the 1982 Australian Writers’ Guild Awgie award for best children’s script in any medium and has not been professionally produced in Melbourne since 1985, and nationally since 1990. It has been a long time between drinks. Dorothy Hewett is clearly a talented playwright – and her work here is theatrical and engaging. Hewett is said to have been one of the few Australian playwrights who asked the question why children’s theatre is not taken seriously in this country. And you can see by the tight narrative in Golden Valley, that Hewett did not shy away from creating magical drama for young children. This is not entertainment for pure entertainment sake. The tale is bold and dramatic. There characters too walk that fine line between good and evil, and Hewett doesn’t spare the sense of darkness as a potentially shocking resolution develops. It has been said that for Hewett, Golden Valley was said to be a symbolic manifestation of a child’s imagination. However the content is not necessarily childlike. Identity, prejudice, and exploitation are all notable themes. Perilous Productions’ Golden Valley says that current children’s theatre does not often look to produce this type of work. Director Suzanne Chaundy explains, “Similar to British production companies Cheek by Jowl or Complicite, we aim to create a pure theatrical experience through our methods of expression and interpretation”. “We will create theatre that is accessible, transforming, absorbing, enlightening and in this case, reflects an Australian mythical landscape,” Viviana Frediani-Massara’s set is also worth mentioning. A wonderful colourful secret garden-like creation that every child would no doubt dream of living in. Golden Valley was assisted through Hothouse Theatre’s A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY residential program funded jointly by Albury City, Perpetual and The Myer Foundation. Golden Valley Written by Dorothy Hewett Original Music by Jim Cotter Directed by Suzanne Chaundy Overview: Golden Valley is a symbolic manifestation of a childs imagination where the central character, Marigold, proves that the Golden Valley is a magical place and people can live harmoniously together with nature and societys outcasts.Marigold and her adopted eccentric elderly family of bush creatures rise up against urban greed, banding together to save the Golden Valley from the evil Jack Swannell; and along the way they are helped by a shape shifting green boy called Nim and a witch disguised as a feral cat! Venue: Studio One Northcote Town Hall 189 High Street, Northcote Season: 8-18 January 2009 Tuesday to Friday 10.30am and 2.00pm Saturdays 2.00pm and 7.00pm Sundays 2.00pm Tickets: $15 & $45 Family Ticket (4 tickets) Bookings: 9481 9500 www.northcotetownhall.com.au (click on tickets and shows)

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