Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Baggy Pants by Sue Giles, June 29, 2004

 Baggy Pants  by Sue Giles 
North Melbourne Town Hall, June 29 to July 10, 2004
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Baggy Pants is a visual theatre play for children over five years although there were plenty of younger children attending and attentive at this performance.

The play is under an hour and designed for school holiday family viewing. The two central characters are a pair of baggy brown pants and a little white singlet. Baggy Pants and Singlet are friends but the more adventurous Singlet runs off to discover the world with a naughty and provocative neon Coat Hanger.

Not only are the lead characters animated articles clothing, the entire set is comprised of old clothes. They are suspended on clothes lines and are piled in heaps on the floor. There are even two clothing monster characters who clump about changing scenery and gallumph in piles of loose clothing.

Baggy Pants, or Trousers as he is sometimes called, pursues his little white friend through bizarre lands.

There is a world of Hip Hop clothing creatures that dance to rap music and another is inhabited by a fake fur coat that behaves like an operatic diva.

White underpants fluttering like butterflies elicited giggles from the children and two little sock and bonnet critters are very cute.

There is a clan of soccer hooligan-like trouser that cheer and chant as a pair of trouser creatures do a dance off.

Singlet follows Coat Hanger up a mountain, into a world of flying, crying baby clothing and then to a dangerous metal coat hanger land with a giant metallic Queen who takes a liking to Singlet.

The final rescue and reunion between Singlet and her loyal little friend Baggy Pants, is warm and charming.

The design, by Vanessa Beck, is fascinating and puppet construction by Graeme Davis is ingenious. A complex sound composition by Jennie Swain helps establishes location.  Sue Giles direction is clever and appropriate for the young audience. Puppeteers Gerard Van Dyck, Megan Cameron, Justin Holland and Jacob Boehme are skilful.

The narrative is a little unclear but this seems not to deter the children who are riveted from the beginning - all except one faint-hearted three-year-old who was carried out crying " it's too scary."

LOOK FOR: The trouser soccer clan

By Kate Herbert

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