Theatre / “Soul Buying and selling” by Kate Walder, directed by Jenna Worth. On the Courtyard Studio till October 8. Reviewed by SIMONE PENKETHMAN.
THE finale to Canberra Youth Theatre’s formidable, 50-year anniversary program is the world premiere of Kate Walder’s play “Soul Buying and selling”.
It’s a good, humorous and thought-provoking present, carried out by 12 of the youngest of Canberra Youth Theatre’s actors, from faculty years 4-7.
“Soul Buying and selling” depicts a world the place youngsters’s biggest attachment is to their studying bots. These AI pushed robots care for all their bodily wants and help them to become their predetermined occupation, based on their designer DNA.
The 12 months is 2079. Studying bots usually are not obligatory however just one baby’s mother and father have chosen to not purchase. Jerry (Ted Abraham) has a extra freerange upbringing, exploring nature with all its dangers.
However Jerry is lonely. The spotlight of his faculty day is a couple of minutes of scheduled interplay together with his classmates. With no predetermined specialisation, the AI trainer sends Jerry to the library to analysis considered one of his many private pursuits – the long-extinct bees.
Within the unsupervised library, Jerry breaks to guidelines to entry the 3D printer and create a finest pal.
Director Jenna Worth makes use of extremely stylised and choreographed motion to convey a poignant cohesion to the kids’s remoted existences. Sound designer, Paddy Haesler’s music underpins the motion and his sound results have nice comedian timing.
Phoenix Could’s putting white, geometrical set design has the present performed within the spherical. The benefit of this staging is a way of intimacy with the viewers near the motion. A drawback is that the voices of very younger actors don’t at all times carry far sufficient to be audible.
“Soul Buying and selling” had no grownup characters and brings its viewers contained in the world of the kids. It’s a hopeful story with loads of laughs for the principally grownup viewers on opening night time.
In 2022 we now have seen the fruition of many reveals that have been deliberate for 2020 and 2021 however cancelled resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. “Soul Buying and selling” is not any exception. Carried out by a cohort of youngsters who’ve needed to have interaction with their studying by means of expertise, in isolation, this present is a transferring celebration of human connection.
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Ian Meikle, editor