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Adelaide Festival review: The Lighthouse

Adelaide Festival

Presented by South Australia’s Patch Theatre and directed by Geoff Cobham, The Lighthouse is a stunning combination of interactive theatre and scientific discovery that explores the mystery and beauty of light.

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The Lighthouse is designed as fully immersive experience which expertly uses lasers, mirrors, torches and other equipment to create jaw-dropping light displays experienced by small audience groups as they make their way through a winding labyrinth of interconnected rooms at the Queen’s Theatre.

Each beautifully crafted room contains a series of unique displays and strange gadgets designed to help you interact with and manipulate the light. The simple, hands-on activities are suitable for even very young children, and the variety of activities available ensures visitors never lose interest.

Each room presents a new adventure and you can never be sure who or what you will encounter as you step across the threshold.

A cellist plays in one of the rooms of The Lighthouse. Photo: Matt Byrne

Along with the light displays, there are also ethereal characters brilliantly performed by the talented Patch Theatre cast. Clad in costumes that are imaginative without being overwhelming, some perform stunning routines within the rooms while others act as guides or mentors, leading you through the space and imparting wisdom.

The performers’ softly spoken demeanours and slow, purposeful movements enable them to interact with younger audience members without appearing confrontational, and my three-year-old enjoyed the experience. In fact, watching all the children interact so enthusiastically with the space adds to the enjoyment.

Each room also has its own soundtrack of music or spoken word and this, combined with the light displays and activities, creates an enthralling experience that engages all the senses. The Lighthouse is a well-designed visual treat for the young and the young at heart.

The Lighthouse is at the Queen’s Theatre until March 7.

See more Adelaide Festival stories and reviews here.

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