Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Queen of Colours - at the Sydney Opera House

We took K. to see 'The Queen of Colours' at the Sydney Opera House today. I am so glad we did.



The show begins with a half circle of light at centre stage with a paint brush lying across it. Then we are introduced to the Court Painter (Eva Noell) and the Court Musician and his accordion (Alexander Voynov) who invite us into the world of the Queen of Colours.

The Queen lives in a colourless world at the beginning of the show and by the end we are introduced to all the colours that she loves. The Court Painter and Court Magician are wonderful, drawing the children and adults alike into the story. From the very first the giggles are heard throughout the Playhouse Theatre, and not just childish laughter either.


The Court Painter paints as the Queen of Colours decrees - now red, now blue, now yellow, now green, now mayhem. The drawings are simple but beautiful. The humour is ageless. The music helps the story flow from scene to scene, the accordion just the right choice for the production.

The shadow puppetry is a surprise to the kids. K. asked me how they were talking to each other (the Queen and the Court Painter), but in the end just watched and laughed and enjoyed. The puppeteer does an amazing job in marrying up the Queen's movements to the words of the Court Painter - you wouldn't know he wasn't able to see what was happening in front of the screen.

At the end of the show, K. asked to go and say thank you to the Court Painter for such a wonderful 'movie' (she was promptly corrected - it is a show not a movie). A few other kids also stayed to say thanks and ask questions about the show. Each of those children received a painting from the show; K.'s is of the Queen's blue period! We are going to frame it and hang it on her bedroom wall. It will have pride of place for quite some time I believe.

The things K. remembers most from the show - her favourite bits - are the Queen jumping on her bed, the blowing of the coloured leaves and the sound of the Queen blowing on the blue.

If you have a chance to see this production, it is so worth it. I think K. would quite happily go and see it again. And so would I!

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