Jens Altheimer is a theatre performer and self-proclaimed quirkologist who travels Australia with his shows and artistic projects. He's back at the Fringe this year with his latest visual theatre show for families, Loose Ends, which was nominated last year for the Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Children's Production.
It is a largely non-verbal tale that leaves children to fill in the blanks and ask the questions. The show follows a terrified man scared of the outside world and insistent on order in the home through many, many boxes. Everything has a box, from old toys, maps and music to emotions like love and fear. Altheimer's extensive training and experience in physical theatre and clowning shines through as he plays with objects and trinkets that are his only company. The audience even gets involved with making music and friends.
A journey of friendship told through music, puppetry and tinkering with everyday machines, there's plenty of surprises along the way. Mum and Dad, there's a few loud noises and dark spots in the show to be mindful of for very little ones, but there's never anyone in the audience more scared than the man on stage.
Although the box of laughter is across the room, there are plenty of giggles in the audience as we're told an uplifting tale of friendship and all the wonderful and sad times that come with it.
My favourite thing about children's theatre performers is they look ten times more excited than the child to be there and Jens' energy will keep even adults entertained. The quirky, intriguing storyline shows there's never enough boxes of stuff that will keep you from getting bored and needing a friend, imagined or real.
Loose Ends is playing at the Le Cascadeur in The Garden of Unearthly Delights until the end of the Fringe, so if you're looking to drag the kids away from the screen, then take them along to this heart-warming and fun-loving show.