One of the most innovative ideas since the conception of the Fringe is the amount of productions aimed at a younger audiences. Walking through Gluttony during the early hours of a Sunday afternoon the grounds are packed with children and families preparing to witness on of the multitude of children focused performances. Dinosaur Time Machine is one such production.
With a topic of ‘dinosaurs’ you’re never going to be short of inquisitive young minds as they progress through that prehistoric rite of passage. Every kid does it. Dinosaur Time Machine is a simple production. Its laden with facts that will keep the palaeontology inclined 8-9 year old book reader with their ears trained on the performers, whist there is just enough “silliness” (including the obligatory fart and poo jokes) to keep the younger audiences interested also.
As mentioned the simplicity of the production is key, and likely meant to be this way such that it can be recreated by each and every kid once they get home. After all, who doesn’t have a cardboard box, pair of bbq tongs and a clock to build your very own time machine? Combine this with timely amounts of audience participation, and all the kids in the room are putty in the performers’ hands.
Whilst the production is a well refined machine, the white elephant in the room is the lack of appearance by any dinosaurs in the performance until well after the 40 minute mark of the 50 minute performance. Young children, and hence parents are well into the restless phase by this stage. But once the fantastic looking dinosaur appears all is forgiven as 50% of the children cheer in delight, whilst the other 50% duck for cover behind their parents backs.
Don’t let that degrade from the performance, because it doesn’t. The performance is one that your kids will love, with the lack of dinosaurs being the only element that could possibly be questioned. Get that balance right and it’s an automatic 5-star performance.
Fringe review by Lindsay Bulach
For more info and tickets for Dinosaur Time Machine head to https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/dinosaur-time-machine-af2018