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Print Version

Written, directed and designed by George Harach
Presented by Kapitall Kids Theatre

at Gryphon, Wellington
From 8 Jul 2014 to 19 Jul 2014

Reviewed by John Smythe, 9 Jul 2014

Writer George Harach has drawn on his Lebanese heritage and a tale his father used to tell him when he was a little boy to create this play, which he also directs with simple staging – apart from an impressive lighting effect and sound sting for when things get magical (designed and operated by Aaron Blackledge).

The set-up is that, yet again, Dad (Sabrina Martin) catches nothing but seaweed on his fishing line. Strangely enough his four children, teenagers presumably (no mention of the mother), don't complain at having nothing to eat yet again but they are a bit surprised at Dad's ultimatum that they must leave home and become independent by acquiring a skill or a trade.

On leaving, they all caution Dad to watch out for the Dragon of Doom which we soon learn – from the King (Donald James) and his daughter Princess (Sabrina Martin) – is bringing destruction and misery to the common folk of the kingdom. On the road, the kids decide to go their separate ways and meet again in a year to reveal what they have learned.

Each in turn meets an Old Man (Donald James) who delights in being doddery while setting each on a different path to learn their special skill – at “the world's best” level, of course. Thus Tommy (Kenneth Robert Gaffney) becomes a visionary; Mia (Antoinette Cowern) becomes a hunter and sharp-shooter; Jaz (Tyler Jones) becomes a thief (sic – but suspend your judgement) … And Nas (Danny Brabazon) learns how to sew, albeit with massive knitting needles, and this skill allows him to mend a hole shot though a bird's egg and mend a boat that's been smashed by a falling … (spoiler averted).

When the Princess is captured by the Dragon of Doom – hinted at by a tail protruding from a cave, and lots of smoke and wing-flapping sound effects when it is flying – the reunited quartet defy their fearful Dad and set out to save her and win the million dollar reward.  

So whose skill will win the day? (Spoiler alert) Despite each one's attempts to prove that it was their skill alone that did it – a by-product of the cult of individualism – it is, of course, their combined team work that has brought success to their venture. (ends)

The team work of the cast is impressive too, while each defines their character's individual personalities with skill. It's a good message neatly told in a lively production.
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