A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Rats - this show is good enough for everyone to see
Yesterday, we saw one of the many family friendly productions playing as part of this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival, The Pied Piper. In the performance of this well known story, Hanna Marouchka single handedly manages to portray the main characters: Hamelin's local royal figure, Countess Arabella; various townsfolk, even the Pied Piper himself. To aid her characterisations, she uses minimalist props, her voice, and an impressive array of facial expressions. Hanna also makes amazing use of the stage, leaping and cavorting from one side to the other as she tells the story.
Hanna Marouchka displays an impressive array of facial expressions to bring her characters to life
The show was enhanced by a quality original musical score, by Lucas Gillet, with the songs soundly executed by Hanna. Hanna's sweet voice added another dimension and a richness to the show.
There's a gentle humour throughout the show, visual as well as oral, which should have wide appeal.
Simple props are used to convey the story
One aspect of the show that particularly appealed is that there has been no attempt to make this a 'happy ever after' tale. Hannah has retained the slightly black ending to the story, with its underlying message of the importance of people being true to their word, or suffering the consequences.
The best test of a production aimed largely at children is whether or not it captures and holds the attention of child audience members. Around one-third of the 30 or so audience members were children, and I can report that, for the most part, the children were captivated for the 50 minutes' running time.
Hanna Marouchka kept the kids captivated during her show
While we (my partner and I) were not necessarily the target audience for this show, we nevertheless found it clever, amusing and entertaining and could appreciate the stagecraft demonstrated by Hanna, and on that basis, I would happily recommend the show regardless of age.
The Pied Piper plays at Errol's & Co, 69-71 Errol Street, North Melbourne, at 3.30pm each Saturday and Sunday until 30th September.
Tickets are from $14 - $20. You can buy tickets online by clicking here.
To search for other family-friendly events at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, click here.
The images in this article were taken by the writer.