Bluey is so easy to love.
The audience was lively with anticipation as they waited for the curtain to lift at Sydney Opera House on Bluey’s Big Play, the theatrical adaptation of the children's television show.
Creator Joe Brumm has written a new story for the stage. One that offers a life lesson for both adults and children, in a playful and endearing way. The show’s charm is that we all relate to the everyday sagas of Bluey’s family. Whether it is Chilli and Bandit, Bluey’s parents, trying to get out the door, getting the kids to clean up their mess or explaining to their kids what they can or can’t do, these ordinary moments resonate with us all. They are woven into life and are inescapable. As parents we have lived each one. The hook is that Chilli and Bandit offer an alternative solution. Rather than just getting through those moments they turn them into a game. Or when the going gets too tough, they model how we can pause, check in and return to the moment with our families.
The only people who love the show more than I do, are my kids. A whacky year of lockdowns, made the prospect of a return to live theatre irresistible and Bluey was a great way to help all the family back to a more sociable life.
The audience was so absorbed watching the lights of the houses on the set begin to surreptitiously flicker, that they hardly noticed two puppeteers stealthily slipping onto the stage. Soon it was the magic of puppetry bringing a couple of ibises to life that settled children in their seats ready for the stars to take the stage. The crowd erupted as some of their favourite TV characters appeared larger than life.
When Bluey, her sister Bingo, Mum, and Dad started to dance, it felt as if they had stepped out of the screen and we were seeing behind the veil, catching a glimpse of a Bluey that would never be seen on a flat screen.
Jacob Williams directed the puppetry and filled the stage with a joyful parade of beloved characters jumping, skipping and hopping with gleeful abandon. The moving eyebrows of the puppets made for wonderful expressions that helped us all connect with those familiar characters.
A moment when Chilli moved in slow motion across the stage was met with raucous giggles and remote-control Bingo sent waves of glee through the theatre. And when Chattermax made an appearance, it turned the whole place into a discotheque.
At times, I couldn’t work out if I wanted to watch the show or the priceless expressions of the kids around me.
Sydney Opera House presents
Bluey’s Big Play
by Joe Brumm
Director Rose Myers
Venue: Sydney Opera House, NSW
Dates:14 - 19 December 2021
Bookings: sydneyoperahouse.com | 02 9250 7777