Special Delivery | Patch Theatre CompanySpecial Delivery is a captivating visual theatre show for 4-8 year olds and their parents and carers. It is one of Patch Theatre Company’s many works in repertoire and is back in Adelaide, this time as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Summer Family Fun program. On this occasion the theatre is booked out. The excited chatter in the cool dark Space Theatre is an obvious and welcome retreat from the January heat for the hordes of parents, grandparents, holiday carers and their small charges.

Special Delivery, written by Greg Cousins and Jane Leicester, is a simple, wordless and wonder-filled tale full of humour and illusion, which Patch artistic director, Dave Brown and his team have brought to life with a dose of the familiar and oodles of surprise and theatrical magic.

Special Delivery tells the story of a delivery man whose everyday world opens up to surprises, games and delight when the warehouse door stays shut. The set designer, Benzo, has laid out a clear space showing a warehouse wall and delivery door where boxes come to life, dance, multiply, transform, reveal secret contents including a delivery woman. The games and tricks the two characters play on each other are beautifully performed by Greg Cousins klutzy character and Emily Hunt’s cool, calm and collect character. The timing of foley artist, Catherine Oats, is impeccable as she amplifies stage action with sound. As with the props on stage, her instruments include everyday household objects including newspaper, a biscuit tin, a tea strainer, a balloon, to list just a few. Alongside the actors, the sound effects generate superb animation and moments of hilarity as physical interaction escalates between the two characters and the objects they encounter.

The performance opens the imagination to a myriad of possibilities, as does the question of one small audience member asking, “Why is everyone clapping?” People are clapping because the moment is funny, surprising, delightful, clever, simple, and playful. The richness of Special Delivery lies in its simplicity and familiarity with the use of everyday items and occurrences like paper, puzzles, brooms, tea parties, birthdays, pass the parcel, the list could go on. The everyday is playfully woven with moments of surprise, cheekiness and fun that result in an enchanting 50 minutes of storytelling.

After the performance audience members stay in the theatre for as long as possible, quenching curiosity and exploring the world of the story they have just seen. They touch the warehouse bricks, the boxes, the torn newspaper still on the floor, the instruments they can reach. One lucky audience member is given the birthday balloon as a souvenir of her morning adventure with Patch, perhaps to be taken home to make her own stories, sound effects and surprises.

Patch Theatre Company presents
Special Delivery
by Greg Cousins and Jane Leicester

Venue: Space Theatre
Dates: 9 - 13 Jan 2008
Tickets: $12
Bookings: BASS 131246

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