Spirits in Bare Feet
Written by David Burton
Director Mary-Ann Vale
Composer and Live Didgeridoo Michael Brown
Set Designer Chris Willems
Costume Designer Carolyn Taylor-Smith
In 2009, the Breez Finance Children's Festival premiered a new play by award-winning local playwright, David Burton from 29 May - 7 June in the USQ Arts Theatre, Toowoomba.
The play is based on the Aboriginal stone arrangement site of Gummingurru, hidden away in Toowoomba's own backyard, and filled with a rich five thousand year old history.
It tells the story of Olivia, an ambitious and adventurous ten-year-old. From a divorced family, Olivia is (at the moment) staying with her mum, but doesn't at all mind having two homes. She likes nothing better than playing her Nintendo Wii, but her mother has other ideas.
Olivia is sent outside to play but with a stern warning, not to go over the back fence and to wear her shoes. The backyard is boring but the sounds of a didgeridoo call her towards the back fence and with a hop, skip and jump, Olivia's sense of adventure leads her up and over and into the Darling Downs bushland.
She sets out on a wonderful, exciting and sometimes scary journey, meeting a host of interesting characters. Margaret the magpie at first swoops her violently, but insists it is simply to protect her children and they fast become friends, but soon after, a nasty group of villains arrive and steal Olivia's voice.
Mute and afraid, she runs into our Storyteller, who tells Olivia she must go to the special meeting place to find her voice. Along the way she encounters a family of ants, an excitable group of people in bare feet who communicate through rhythm and some mighty trees. When she finally arrives at the meeting place, the entire bushland is gathered along with a giant, gentle rainbow serpent who all help Olivia fight for the right to her voice.
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