Friday, 22 April 2011

City of Riddles, Polyglot, April 21, 2011

City of Riddles, Polyglot Theatre
  • Kate Herbert
  • From: Herald Sun
  • April 21, 2011 1:45PM

Polyglot Theatre's City of Riddles. Picture: Fiona Hamilton Source: Herald Sun olyglot Theatre

Polyglot Theatre's City of Riddles, city and regional tour until July 

CITY Of Riddles, directed by Sue Giles, provides an interactive world of play for primary-school children.

The open space is littered with tiny cardboard houses filled with miniature households. Inside are written riddles to be solved.

Leading the adventure are three voiceless characters (Christian Bagin, Tamara Rewse and Jacob Williams), or "mime guys" as one child cleverly dubbed them. In teams, the children construct their own town, devise their own rules and solve the cute riddles.

As the playful, fun activities evolve, the formerly mimed instructions are replaced with increasingly autocratic signs, and, finally, a Dalek-like, disembodied voice that barks onerous orders. We realise slowly that the characters' voices were stolen and their freedom eroded.

The concepts teach about power, freedom, co-operation and having a voice. If the kids missed the impact of the message, it was loud and clear to the adults as we chanted for freedom.

CITY OF RIDDLES, Polyglot Theatre, at MTC Theatre, Southbank. Touring Bendigo (April 22-23), Frankston and West Gippsland (June), Kingston and Upper Yarra (July).

Stars: *** 1/2

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