RAW – Me and My Shadow – Patch Theatre – At The Space Til 21st April – 4.5K

Adelaide’s Patch Theatre Company has been delighting children, mainly in the 4-8 year old category, for 40 years and Me and My Shadow is sure to go down as one of their best shows.

At the start, the set seems nothing more than some paper bags strewn across the stage, some cut to resemble apartment like buildings. But soon all manner of transformations take place – a torch becomes a car, then a rocket and finally back to a spotlight. Those bags become people, receptacles for stuff, straw man hair and hats.

Controlling the space are two Flinders Uni Drama Centre graduates, Emma Beech, as the lost girl initially spooked by her own shadow, and Hew Parham, playing both an alter ego and companion.

Many children shows (for obvious reasons) seek to engage the fleeting attention spans of their target audience with noise, slapstick and farce. Patch take on the far more considerable task of securing their focus through wonder, magic, light and shadow. Me and My Shadow achieves in holding their people spell bound – even to the point of amazed silence. It is a craft no doubt many parents wish they could bottle and take home with them.

Many parents may also believe that nowadays the only control over the blank canvases that are their progeny’s minds are high tech electronic toys and such mundane things as paper and light will no longer suffice. Be prepared to be wholly challenged for while deep into the performance it all looked like it may fizzle a bit, the last 10 minutes are a joy for everyone. The final globe light and silhouette scenes are not only a delight but a wonder even to the adult minds. The impact on the young ones seated close to the stage as these massive human figures jump about and expand and contract at a whim can only be imagined but those moments are sure to be ones they will cherish.

Me and my Shadow is brilliant children school holiday fare from which no one will feel any burden for attending and indeed very likely a great sense of reward.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K

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