Aston’s Stones is a quirky, left-of-centre children’s theatre production from Sweden that’s touring Australia at the moment. It’s just landed at the Arts Centre Melbourne after performing in Sydney and will be heading to Brisbane for the Out of the Box Festival from 25 June to 2 July.
The 30 minute show is aimed at kids 3-6 years old and I think it’s age appropriate. Children can choose to sit on the floor atop fake grass, or in chairs with adults in a semicircle around the stage.
Aston is a dog who collects and takes care of stones – some of small, some are big, some are lonely, some are cold. He fills the house with the stones and convinces his parents to knit woollen blankets for the stones…until his parents can bear it no longer and take a holiday to a pebble beach where he is told to leave the stones behind. Luckily, the stones seem to have found a home that they like!
Aston and his parents are personified by three performers, all of whom switch between speech, mime, singing and playing the keyboard or electric double bass. The story is quite sweet and definitely has a Scandinavian flavour to it, with a slightly odd humour and dark sensibility typical of many films and books from that region.
At the end of the performance children are invited to touch Aston’s stones (which were deceptively soft and squishy) and to help Aston collect stones in the foyer.
Aston’s Stones is playing at the Arts Centre Melbourne until this Sunday 22 June. Lady AB and I enjoyed this unique show, which is probably the polar opposite of some of the blockbuster mainstream fare you’ll find in Melbourne’s theatres.