Western Australia’s flagship theatre company Black Swan State Theatre Company presents The Red Balloon, a world premiere stage adaptation based on the Academy Award-winning short film of the same name.

This is a first in family programming for the company and a much anticipated school holiday and family special.

Conceived by French film maker Albert Lamorisse, the short film The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) first premiered in 1956 and featured his own children; real-life Pascal being the inspiration for the boy with his balloon, and his daughter Sabine playing the girl.  The film won numerous awards, including an Oscar for best original screenplay, the Palme d’Or for short films and is the only short film to win the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay). It has a music score but almost no dialogue.

The Red Balloon is considered one of the best loved children’s cinema classics and continues to delight imaginations with its simplicity yet compelling storytelling.

The Red Balloon is considered one of the best loved children’s cinema classics and continues to delight imaginations with its simplicity yet compelling storytelling.

In adapting the movie for the stage Black Swan engaged director Chrissie Parrott, one of Australia’s leading choreographers, and commissioned playwright Hilary Bell. Parrott has assembled an outstanding creative team to re-imagine this magical piece and has chosen performers which include four child actors and four adult actors, all experienced in puppetry, circus, acting and dance to bring the production to life.

We see the story set in the run-down, post-war Ménilmontant neighbourhood of Paris. On his way to school, a young boy, Pascal finds a red balloon tangled around a lamp post. Soon after rescuing it, the boy discovers the balloon has a mind of its own! Together, he and his balloon wander the streets, exploring the neighbourhood and searching for adventure.

The young boy lives in his own fantasy and sees the world through innocent picture book eyes – buildings literally come to life as the characters move around the stage to represent the very scary town bullies who are up to no good!  There are eyeballs peering from every window and from behind the painted backcloths, with puppets, slide projectors and ‘old school’ contraptions that pop up and out of the set to surprise the children in the audience both young and old.

Parrott notes that this stunning little work of art became immediately popular with children and educators worldwide and is hoping that families will be attracted to the play and that grandparents who saw the film when it first appeared, will want to relive this well-loved fantasy.

The Red Balloon is aimed at children between 6 and 12 years of age, families and the young at heart. It runs from 1-17 October in the Studio Underground at State Theatre Centre of WA with two shows daily.

For further information please visit www.bsstc.com.au

Tickets: Book at www.ticketek.com.au Ph 1300 795 012; School Groups 10+ 1300 364 001

Presented as part of the 2015 Awesome Festival and is a Rio Tinto Black Swan Commission.

Duration: 45 minutes

Cast: Dylan Christidis, St John Cowcher, Ella Hetherington, Eloise Hunter, Rory McLaughlin,
Ben Mortley, Sarah Nelson, Katie Price

Director: Chrissie Parrott

Creative Mentor: Kate Cherry

Set & Costume Designer: India Mehta

Lighting Designer: Trent Suidgeest

Sound Designer/Composer: Ash Gibson Greig

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