BuggyBuddys Review: The Arrival

The Arrival is a surreal journey of the familiar and bizarre.

Echoes of “Life is Beautiful” meets a Miyazaki film – this Spare Parts Puppet piece is hypnotic with a steampunk edge, absorbing both adult and younger audience members victoriously. My five year old chaperon was enthralled and watching her little face shift from pure delight – to devastation – to fits of giggles was a testament to every element of this beautiful offering of theatre.

A wordless story of the very loveable Aki who arrives in a new land, homeless, jobless, friendless and without his family. But where hope is void, Aki’s boundless optimism and sunny nature shine onto all he encounters, as we live the emotional oscillation of being a stranger in a foreign land and the heart of what it means to be human.

Adapted from the book by Shaun Tan The Arrival is a majestic blend of projected illustrations, exquisite performances, and a stage setting that breathes, contorts and transforms itself to life.

The musical composition enfolds the experience and Aki’s chanting mantra of triumph will replay in your head for hours after.

The puppets as always are dynamically crafted and woven perfectly into the performance. Children will fall in love with the adorable characters, particularly the little blue enigmatic companion Aki befriends.

As the performers took their final bow, my extraordinarily hard to please daughter closed with “I want to watch it again! Is there another one?!”. A most worthy review from one of the worlds harshest critics!

The Arrival is a theatre experience for all ages.

Written by Stephanie Rae, BuggyBuddys, July 2017