This magical journey for all ages was a complete crowd pleaser, and the fact that it is an original work commissioned specifically for the Queensland Music Festival just made it even more special.
The fairies were not only on stage in this wonderful, family friendly performance: at least three quarters of the pint-sized audience were fully decked out in their sparkly dresses and wings. The show did not disappoint its audience, with fairies and magic aplenty.
This Australian work tells the story of two children travelling to fairyland as they fall asleep at night, and the characters whose lives they touch along the way. The fairy heroine shows love, compassion and sacrifice in order to help those around her, which was a simple and comprehensible moral for its target audience. What made the storytelling so effective was that it was not a traditional ballet performed to orchestral music; the score was complemented by a single soprano, who at times narrated, and at times used her voice as an instrument to accompany the story. It was a lovely tool that not only highlighted the performance as a whole, but also made it more accessible. She was also dressed in magical fairy garb, much to the delight of the fairies in the audience.
The set design was perfect. The story hinges around a set of magical trees, and so each tree onstage held a musician who was revealed as the performance unfolded and locations changed. The set very much evoked a magical fairyland, and this literal design interpretation was spot on for the young target audience. However, it was the dancers that really stole the show. The technical side was of course perfect, but the emotion they invested and communicated – especially the younger dancers – held the audience in thrall. It is a testament to their physical storytelling that they held the children’s attention for the whole 90 minutes. The interactive kids stations outside the theatre with cubbies and colouring in was a lovely touch too.
'The Little Green Road To Fairyland' is not only an Australian work by three Australian women, it debuted this season in rural Queensland to increase regional access to the arts. The Queensland Music Festival should be proud of not only this wonderful work, but also in the philosophy of inclusion that guides it. As my co-reviewer, Little Miss Three, exclaimed as she clapped at the end of the performance: “Well done everybody!”
'The Little Green Road To Fairyland' plays Queensland Performing Arts Centre until 21 July.