The Book of Everything | Kim Carpenter's Theatre of Image & Company B

The Book of Everything | Kim Carpenter's Theatre of Image & Company BWhen we meet Thomas Klopper aged 9 (nearly 10), it is Summer in Amsterdam, Holland, Europe, Northern Hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, Galaxy, Universe, Space. And the year is 1951.

The Book of Everything
- Thomas’ wide ranging title for what is essentially his diary - encompasses secret revelations, truths and observation of his life. Thomas (Matthew Whittet) dutifully (and thoroughly) introduces us to his family - his staunch and somewhat terrifying Christian father Abel (Peter Carroll), his kind and mild mother Jannie (Claire Jones) and his “stupid” sister Margot (Alison Bell) and the people who make up his world - or rather street - fierce bicycling trouser-wearing Aunty Pie (Deborah Kennedy), pretty Eliza with the leather leg (Yael Stone), “the witch” Mrs Van Amersfoort (Julie Forsyth) and even a buddy Jesus (John Leary). The book itself, though pocket sized, contains large ideas as Thomas stumbles into love which lifts him two metres into the air, begins to question the existence of God and develops an unlikely book club with a “witch.” Thomas is faced with the most terrifying realisation a person can have - that you are responsible for impacting positive change even when it seems impossible, dangerous or disrespectful to your elders. This is a play about the power of words - in diaries, in books, in poems, in letters which have the power to inform our lives and empower us.

Adapted by Richard Tulloch from the novel by Guus Kuijer, commissioned by Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image and co-produced by Company B - director Neil Armfield has skilfully harnessed the talents of some of Australia’s best contemporary talent. Set and Costume designer Kim Carpenter’s giant Book of Everything opens to create the backdrop for the locations in the play complete with whimsical diagrams and notes. Composer (and pianist) Ian Grandage creates a wonderful underscore which swings between playful and sinister at appropriate moments. This is a beautifully constructed play space for Armfield’s delightful cast who’s ensemble fill in the corners of the story with commentary and live sound effects.

Performances by the ensemble are lightly handled and completely charming - each embracing the flaws and the quirks of their characters with commitment and energy. Special mentions must go to Matthew Whittet who balances the cheeky, thoughtful and brave Thomas with great tenderness and Alison Bell whose portrayal of Margot is suitably forceful at the great moment of reckoning.

The Book Of Everything is a wonderfully magical production - full of naive and raucous surprises, which leaves you feeling relieved and inspired that a simple act of bravery or a grand gesture can undo the wrong in your world.

 

 

Kim Carpenter’s Theatre Of Image and Company B Belvoir present
THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING
From the novel by Guus Kuijer | Adapted by Richard Tulloch

Directed by Neil Armfield

Venue: Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills

Dates: 3 January - 31 January 2010
Opening night: 2 January
Times: Tuesday to Friday, 6.30pm; Wednesdays, 11.00am (except 27 January); Saturdays, 2.00pm (except 2 & 9 January); Saturdays, 8.00pm; Sunday 5.00pm
Tickets: Full $56. Seniors (excluding Fri/Sat evenings) and Groups 10+ $46. Concession $34. Children (14 and under) $22. Student Rush $25 for Tuesday 6.30pm and Saturday 2pm, available from 10am on the day (subject to availability)
Bookings: 9699 3444 or www.belvoir.com.au
Visit: www.theatreofimage.com.au

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