Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pearl Verses The World by Sally Murphy

Pearl Verses The World by Sally Murphy.  Jigsaw Theatre Company directed by Justine Campbell, performed by Kate Hosking and Chrissie Shaw.  At The Courtyard Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, May 19 – June 3, 2012.

Reviewed by Frank McKone
assisted by Stephen McKone Hassell
May 19

“If we say there is a mystery, then that might mean people would want to see the show,” suggested Stephen, age 6½. 

But there’s more than one mystery, I suggest.  What about what happened to Pearl’s Dad?  “And, how Granny got back stage after disappearing!”  And why is it that Pearl is in a ‘group of only one’?  “And why Mrs Brough, Pearl’s teacher makes Pearl write rhyming poetry even though she doesn’t rhyme?”

“And also,” asked Stephen, “Why is Granny in a plastic tube?  That was such an odd show!”

It was a good show, says Stephen, but it was a bit late starting and it had one boring bit in the middle when you could hear footsteps and nothing else.  “And it was a good show because they had lots of nice poetry in it and lots of good songs.”

I think it is a good show, from a grandfather’s point of view, because it may help children to appreciate their elders.  Even the teachers, who at first Pearl thinks are a bit batty, come through in the end as they respond sensitively to Grandma’s death.

And finally, though he doesn’t want it to be published here, the proof of the value of the show is that Stephen has just made up a ‘spinnetry’ poem, “just like Pearl loved to spin and make poetry at the same time.” 

Highly recommended.