If you were in Melbourne on Wednesday night, you would have seen a city alive with summer. People walking, milling, sitting. Sharing time with friends, family, or alone.
You may have passed a mother and her son. He just about to pass her in height. Walking across St Kilda Road, shooting the breeze, in search of food fit to satve off the constant hunger only a teen child can muster. You may have seen a kid and his first taste of Lord of the Fries, of which, I am told, there is no going back.
There is something special about spending time one on one with a child. As they get older and naturally begin to move away from the constant want of parental and family company it is good to get away from home and the confines of the did you do, are you sure, have you got…
Away from the humdrum of home, tensions seem to loosen and side by side in the car, the street, the theatre, real conversations can be had.
That is the way it was when I took The Blue Eyed Boy to LEO at the Arts Centre Melbourne. He had the pick of three shows to see, and this was his choice. The more intimate space of the Fairfax Studio was perfect for this one man performance. A fringe festival-like show that starts out with some laughs and makes a decent into darker territory. All the better for older children and adults.
The performance delights, engages and challenges perceptions as you watch both the performer and a screen that films his every move. As well as the cleverness and physicality of the performance, there is a depth of character and emotion I was not sure would be there before the show began. That was, for me, what made the performance. Not so much that my perception was challenged, but my emotional response as music, image and Leo himself changed from happy go lucky to an altogethr darker place. And, that he found his way out of that place.
Leo is recommended for children aged ten plus, and although there were younger children in the audience, I do think the promoters got the age right for this performance. The louder music and darker side to the show, which is what really drew me in, is not aimed at younger audience members. For younger theatre goers wanting something a little out of the ordinary Oh Suivant! May be more the show to see.
For my lovely, growing teen and his rather proud mother, this was the perfect show, and the beginning of a great evening in the city we call home. Leo is on now through to January 27th. Tickets can be purchased here.
Disclaimer: I worked with 360 Immerse for the Arts Centre and am duly compensated for my time. I was not expected to write a review of Leo. I did though want to write about my time with my son, and the performance we saw. Just as I would have if not collaborating with an agency.