Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
Claire on Wispa, The Flying Unicorn in flight during rehearsals.
I was invited along with a small group to see a full dress rehearsal of the Adelaide Fringe festival 2012 program Wispa and the Golden Dragon at the Holden Street Theatres in The Studio, at Hindmarsh. The advertised performances were not due to begin until later the same day, but even though we were only a small group of 6 adults and 2 young children (2 and 4 years old), we were keen to see the play regardless.
Wispa and the Golden Dragon is a children's play, written and directed by South Australian author, Kelly Alsop. The play is based on her children's stories of the same name, which she self-published under her penname, Eva Rogers. Although the play is directed towards children it will appeal to adults who maintain an enjoyment of children's entertainment.
Wispa and the Golden Dragon is the fantasy story of how Wispa the Flying Unicorn, Clairy the Fairy Princess and Kano the Dragon come together to try and save the farm animals from the villian, the Chicken-Bone Wizard, who plans to make the cows lay eggs and the chickens give milk.
The cast quickly established their characters. Cathrine Puring doubled as the story narrator and as Kano the Golden Dragon, gave a moving performance as she expressed her sadness as the lonely and misunderstood dragon crying out for friendship. Michael Coumi as Wispa the Flying Unicorn, was entertaining with his tap dancing and simulated flying scene with Kristen Pommasin the Fairy Princess on his back. That's bound to draw the children's attention.
Kristen creates an ideal fairy princess as well as some comedy relief when she is placed under the Wizard's spell and is required to behave like a duck. Benoit Auerger as the Chicken-Bone Wizard makes a wonderful villian, who drove the story with his capacity to be devilish as well as provide lots of action and fun with his antics. His eyes are so engaging and his face beams with joy and mischief as he continually creates mayhem. The scene where he rolls around wrestling with his foot trying to cut his toenail to make his spinach and toenail soup is particularly funny.
The children's giggling and infectious laughter could be readily heard indicating they were enjoying the performances. There was one occasion when the older child was frightened and she began to cry as the Wizard performed his magic turning Claire and Wispa into ducks. This was entertaining for the adults, but not for this little girl as she protested loudly.
Benoit displayed how sensitive he was to her crisis and attempted to win her over by directing his attention towads her. He quickly realised no amount of Wizard magic would calm her down so he eased back, taking the focus away from her, and she calmed down.
The costumes worn by Kano with its glitter and dragon's tail with spikes and Wispa with his soft flowing white wings were imaginative and appealing.
The cast present wonderful characters who clearly express their feelings, and when necessary provide enough fun and activity to capture and engage the children's imagination and entertain the adults too.