Saltbush (4 stars)


The projected children's show builds a sense of wonder and allows controlled but energetic interaction

The simple but effective conceit of this show by Compagnia TPO and Insite Arts offers a magic carpet ride into another world, if you will, and one which is simply executed but cannily designed to play upon the imaginations of its early primary school-age target audience. Seated along lengthy benches facing each other, the kids all have easy access to a long, rectangular central performance space.

At first this is just for the performers, two female and one male, and for the giant animated projection which fills the space below them. Building up slowly in the low light, the performers interact gently with these images at first, splashing the ‘water’ flowing under them, until they invite children here and there from the front rows onto the surface to skip between fast-moving lily pads, dodge speeding city traffic and dance en masse under a floating fabric ‘sea’.

The Australian Aboriginal aesthetic of the design and the show’s subtle reflection upon the tension between the land and the city is fairly ephemeral, not that it requires much expanding upon in this context, and parents might be put in mind of those interactive video floors in soft play centres which are designed to exhaust kids. Yet it’s a well-designed show in terms of building a sense of wonder and allowing controlled but energetic interaction, and it kept the kids firmly engaged throughout its 45-minute running time.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 23 & Sat 24 May.


An interactive journey through the culture and landscape of Aboriginal Australia where children are invited to explore, play and dance with the performers. Ages 4–8.

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