Set just outside the Himeji Gardens, the location for A Thousand Cranes is lovely. Traditional drinks and treats are available for purchase, picnic rugs are provided, and the calming and welcoming sound of rivers flowing plays as you arrive. A very family-friendly atmosphere has been created by the production team.
A Thousand Cranes is based on the novel, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and tells the story of a young girl who is diagnosed with leukaemia as a result of the Hiroshima bombing that took place when she was two. Following a traditional legend, she attempts to make 1000 origami cranes to have her wish granted for peace and to become well again. Time is not on her side and she dies, joining her grandmother and ancestors in the afterlife. Her friends finish making the cranes after she has passed, finally reaching 1000. But, of course, Sadako's wishes are not granted.
There is some excellent dancing, gymnastics and aerial acrobatics by the two young performers in the show. They are very talented, particularly the actor playing Sadako. The production itself could benefit from some stronger directorial choices as the narrative was a little clunky at times. Fitting such a detailed story into only 40 minutes proved challenging. Nonetheless, a timeless and relevant story is told, and this is a nice way to spend the afternoon with family at one of Adelaide's most beautiful locations. Many of the audience stayed behind after the show as children and adults alike enjoyed exploring the Himeji Gardens.
A Thousand Cranes is showing at Himeji Gardens for the Adelaide Fringe on Feb 16 and 29 and March 1 2020.