March 2, 2015
by Kylie Gardner
It’s Fringe time! The Adelaide Fringe Festival has brought it’s magic to town once again. I was lucky enough to be invited along to see a performance of The Hand of Time on Sunday arvo. It sounded like the perfect outing for Pebble and I, and we took my SIL, Julie and niece, Sarah, along for the ride. I was especially keen to because the play was about a girl who could stop time… which has been my ultimate dream super power since I was a kid!
Adelaide turned on the charm for us, it was a beautiful, sunny day, just begging to be enjoyed. The sound of the Clipsal cars screeching around the race track gave the city an electric feel, not to mention the insanely loud jets that blasted through the sky, scaring the pants off us! I thought Pebble would scream in fear but she just covered her ears and stared in wonder.
We wandered into Gluttony, a Fringe Festival venue in Rymill Park, just opposite The Garden of Unearthly Delights aka ‘The Garden’. We were charmed by the hodge-podge collection of vintage furniture scattered around Gluttony, along with the coloured lights and fringed lamp shades dotting the trees. Pebble and Sarah had fun playing around at being monkeys and riding (fake) pigs. There was totem tennis to be had, too!
We entered the dimly lit Peacock tent for the performance. As our eyes adjusted to the light we saw a stage at ground level where a woman sat cross legged and a man was zipping about, chatting to the kids as they entered. This turned out to be Emily and Thom, of Not Safe For Drinking, the stars of the show.
I’ll confess that I haven’t seen a lot of live theatre lately. Or, um, ever? I’m not very cultured, sorry. You’re much more likely to find me (slightly reluctantly) seeing Peppa Pig at the local Westfield than a two person play. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this performance. I looked at the stands on the stage, each holding several props – hats, bags, jackets, wigs. What was to come?
I soon found out. From the very first line The Hand of Time had the audience captivated. The story of Ella, a young Lanalite, striving to live an extraordinary life, was magical, heart-warming, funny and inspiring. Children in the audience called out to the actors, joined in on stage and played a hands on role in an uplifting finale. I won’t give the ending away, but Pebble and Sarah were grinning with delight.
Emily and Thom were just amazing, they are truly talented. I loved their ad libbing as the kids joined in. You never know what you’re going to get with kids! I don’t know much about acting or how to describe it, but I do know that this performance was completely convincing. For an hour I was taken away to another land, another time and cheering for the heroes of the tale to succeed, to be extraordinary. The moral of the story is one that spoke to my heart, as a mother and a teacher. We each have our own extraordinary abilities to embrace, that we must help each other to nurture. The kids were totally swept up in the performance too, especially Sarah. Pebble was getting a bit wriggly towards the end of the hour, which is pretty good for a little one who’s only just turned five!
If you get the chance to visit the Adelaide Fringe make sure you take the kids along to see this performance. It’s got a little bit of everything. The Hand of Time is on Saturdays and Sundays until March 15. Tickets available from FringeTIX: Adults $23, Children $18, Family $58. Thank you very much to Emily and Thom for the free tickets to the show.
After the performance we wandered over to The Garden for a late lunch and a little look around. There’s always something to see and do. We found ourselves seeing a $5, 15 minute tight rope walking show in The Little Palais, which was a bit of fun. Pebble was quietly terrified (“Are they going to hurt themselves, Mummy?”), while the rest of us were spell bound.
After a ride on the ferris wheel, scoffing a delicious vegetarian quesadilla and an slurping down an ice cream it was time to go home. We could quite happily have stayed for longer, but Rocky and Paul were waiting for us at home and it was almost dinner time.
Have you been to the Adelaide Fringe? Got any recommendations for us? What’s your dream super power?