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The Arrival // Unmissable Theatre for Children 5-14 years

The Arrival // Unmissable Theatre for Children 5-14 years

What’s it like for an immigrant to move to a new country? A stranger in a strange land. How do you explain that experience to a child?

In 2006, the award-winning graphic novel by Shaun Tan, The Arrival, did just that. Adapted by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and playing at The Arts Centre Gold Coast from Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 October, this powerful piece of work is a beautiful exposure of humanity and will delight children in its simplicity. It’s a story about home, family and the kindness of strangers on foreign shores.

Follow the story of Aki as he starts life amidst the extraordinary inhabitants of this new land.

Will he find a place to live? Will he find a job and make friends? Most of all, will Aki ever see his family again?

The absence of words not only makes this story perfect for puppetry, but emphasises the isolation experienced by many people arriving in a new place. Audiences will uncover the significance of acceptance and sense of belonging – losing it, finding it.

The Arrival is a fusion of Tan’s beautiful and surreal illustrations with exquisite puppetry, haunting music and fine acting. This ground-breaking production blurs the boundaries of performance, digital animation and puppetry.

Suitable for all ages, perfect for 5+ years.


About the book… The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long-forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope. Winner 2007 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year. In ‘The Arrival’, the absence of any written description also plants the reader more firmly in the shoes of an immigrant character. There is no guidance as to how the images might be interpreted, and we must ourselves search for meaning and seek familiarity in a world where such things are either scarce or concealed. NB: images from the book form the backdrop for the production.

About The Author


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