White is a whimsical and utterly charming theatrical experience for under 5s which is playing for a limited season at Arts Centre Melbourne. It comes to Melbourne via other international cities and Sydney from award-winning Scottish children’s theatre company Catherine Wheels.
The 35 minute performance takes place in the Playhouse Rehearsal Room, which means your first foray into the magical world of White is via the real magic of tiptoe-ing through a working theatre’s backstage.
Then you enter a small space festooned with white sheer curtains. The stage is bedecked with white birdhouses and two funny looking characters are in their midst, one knitting a tiny hat and another asleep in the teepee.
I had no idea what to expect from White and I think that’s what makes it so magical. Let the two characters take you on a journey of wonder through comical actions and limited dialogue. I wasn’t allowed to photograph the show and even though you were allowed to photograph the finale I decided not to – because the big reveal is really delightful. (These images are from Catherine Wheels).
Arts Centre Melbourne advertise the show as being suitable for 2-4 year olds. I’m not sure whether younger kids would enjoy it though, as there are periods where the lights go dark and a disco ball lights up. Some children freaked out and had to be taken away. Also as the audience sits in very close proximity to the stage I’m glad I didn’t take 2 year old Baby 2.0, who would have been liable to make a run for it and destroy the set.
On the other hand, 4 year old Lady AB (and I) were absolutely enchanted by the experience and it was wonderful hearing her giggle and gasp with delight. As an adult I took away some of the performance’s broader themes about difference, diversity and inclusiveness.
White is a very unique and engaging work of children’s theatre and I highly recommend getting tickets as it’s only here for a limited time.
White, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
5, 7, 8 and 11 March 10am, 12pm and 2pm
6 and 10 March 10am and 12pm
Duration: 35 minutes
Tickets $20 per child and adult