Photo – Jon Green
“In a world built for one” Bambert lives alone in his attic – immersed in a world with characters from his stories. Stories set free on little balloons to embark on adventures abroad and then return home. Stories of love, hope and the cruelty of the world, it transpires. Stories from Spain, London, Russia and Poland.
This is Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories – beautifully realised and adapted for the stage by Dan Giovannoni and Luke Kerridge from Bambert’s Buch der verschollnen Geschichten by Reinhardt Jung, for Barking Gecko Theatre Company. It is sublime.
Tim Watts is a masterful puppeteer indeed – enveloping Bambert with despair, frustration or exaltation where fitting. Capable of bringing an audience to tears when Bambert merely sighs, tilts his head or stoops. Captivating when Bambert’s fingers lovingly caress the pages of his book or he discovers his stories have become real.
This production won the 2016 Helpmann Award for “Best Presentation for Children” and deservedly so. Jonathon Oxlade’s Production Design is exquisite in its detail – rich in colour, form and inventiveness. It’s like you’re looking at a page straight out of a giant pop up book, and together with the costumes, celebrates the vision, creativity and ambition of these storytellers – right down to Bambert’s miniature two-tone brogue shoes. Composer/Sound Designer Ian Moorhead, should also be applauded for his powerfully evocative and gripping music.
The cast of Igor Sas, Amanda McGregor, Jo Morris, Nick Maclaine and Tim Watts, all deliver faultless performances embodying heart, humour and vulnerability. And with the exception of Sas, who plays the kindly narrator, Mr Bloom, all portray multiple roles incredibly convincingly.
Barking Gecko Theatre Company aims to “inspire audiences of all ages to embrace a creative life of curiosity, empathy and play” and with Bambert, they’ve shown us the way.
Arts Centre Melbourne presents Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s
Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories
Adapted for the stage by Dan Giovannoni & Luke Kerridge
Director Luke Kerridge
Venue: Fairfax Studio | Arts Centre Melbourne VIC
Dates: 27 – 28 October 2017
Bookings: artscentremelbourne.com.au | 1300 182 183