Akio! is a physical theatre piece for young people, and the young at heart. It follows Akio, a young boy who like so many can often be found totally immersed in his video games. One afternoon following a rough day at school, Akio’s adventure begins when he and the girl of his dreams are sucked into a video game. Akio proceeds to acquire a shield and a sword through the traditional video game means, overcoming challenges and acquiring new moves. He is not alone though, he is taken through the world by three spirit guides and Tanuki, a friendly and knowledgeable character who has all the inside know how of the gaming world. Kevin Clayette plays Akio and he maintains a great energy that carries him throughout the show. There are of course “baddies” who kidnap princesses and generally run amok.
Demitra Alexandria plays Harumi the “princess” who is captured and spurs Akio on his mission, and whilst the character does follow the stereotypes that go with ‘kidnapped princess’ territory, it’s refreshing to see she doesn’t sit around waiting to be saved. Various laughs are derived from her tireless attempts to escape the binds that hold her captive.
The set design by Mariya Tkachenko is fantastic. Simple black and white blocks and pixilated props come alive as an effective way to take the audience inside the world of the game. The rear wall acts as a great backdrop for video projections that provide the only dialogue for the whole production in text balloons. Vanessa Morrison brings to life all the sounds and music from any childhood that came within five feet of a video game. From the moment you enter the theatre an 8 bit sound track immerses you in the space.
It was great to see theatre designed for young people and the cast worked hard to deliver a dynamic and engaging piece of theatre. The audience, both young and old enjoyed the show and it was lovely to see so many families enjoying the arts.
Blue Theatre Company in association with Hayes Theatre Co presents
Directed by Jade Alex
Venue: Hayes Theatre Co | 19 Greenknowe Ave Potts Point
Dates: 4 – 12 July, 2015
Tickets: $32 – $27.50
Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au | 02 8065 7337