Not a word spoken, but a myriad of emotions felt –Something Very Far Away
The annual Esplanade Children’s Festival ‘Octoburst’ returned this year with the trademark spread of arty, exciting and engaging performances, workshops, art installations and more for children (and the child in each of us) – yes, adults included. We had a chance to catch the performance of ‘Something Very Far Away ‘ – a critically acclaimed performance hailing from the UK’s Unicorn Theatre. Quite honestly, being an aficionado of musicals, concerts and theatres, this was my very first paper cinema performance that I have watched LIVE’.
Though it was performed here under ‘Octoburst’ – the banner of children’s festival (hence its de-facto theme for children), the show was every bit for the grown ups too. In fact, it actually touched me.
Using a host of multimedia elements from animation, live music (and live mixing), paper puppetry and shadow play, the immaculately dressed five-person cast flawlessly manipulated the puppets and the sets, dashing quietly and skillfully from scene to scene, creating the entire story seamlessly. Strangely, their movements were not distracting at all. In fact, it enhanced the entire experience for my 6 year-old and I. Judging from the silence of the largely parent and children crowd, the experience was surreal and captivating. In fact, the intimacy of the venue enhanced the experience especially so for a moving story such as this – of how a man deals with the love of his life, the sudden loss and letting go. Though it was pure fictional, it portrays the ideals we all seek and hope for in our own lives.
‘Something Very Far Away’ is live theatre at its best – simple, touching, effective and reaches out to audiences from every level – from every child to every… child within. This production is 35 minutes of pure genius and for me, one of the best 35 minutes spent with my daughter. Thank you Esplanade for bringing in ‘Something Very Far Away’ in this year’s ‘Octoburst’. More please next year? We can’t wait.