Cerita Anak combines puppetry, shadow imagery, song and sound to weave a story about being adrift on a boat in the ocean. It’s inspired by the seafaring history of Java and a true tale of a small boy’s arrival in Australia.
Baby 2.0 and I attended workshops at Artplay in 2016 which gave children a unique opportunity to participate in the creation of the final work.
Our workshop starts with parents and children folding origami paper boats and drawing our ‘passport’ to enter the show’s set through a mysterious curtain.
The set is a large scale boat made with bamboo frames and fabric, with lots of other child-sized wooden boats dotted around.
Children are encouraged to claim a boat and ride the waves. Some kids (including Baby 2.0) are freaked out by the sound of the ocean and the billowing of parachute silk to evoke the sea in a storm.
We are then ushered into the large boat and together take a journey where we see birds flying overhead, dolphins jumping and shadowy sea creatures. We don’t get to venture to that part of the show but the descriptions of it by the artists sound amazing. Enough to freak out Baby 2.0 again ‘I don’t want to see the shadows!’.
Cerita Anak will be presented at Arts Centre Melbourne from 30 March – 2 April in State Theatre Rehearsal Room as part of Asia TOPA: Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts. I can’t wait to see the final work!