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rt84 editorial

Goodbye Mr Muffin, Teater Refleksion and Teatret De Røde Heste Goodbye Mr Muffin, Teater Refleksion and Teatret De Røde Heste
photo Jan Rüsz
An imagination freed by the arts is often equated with a return to childhood openness, to a period before experience has been categorised and culturally coded, made safe, useable and sometimes blinkeredly loyal. In this edition of RealTime, young people are the subject of works that challenge our imaginations. Our cover features the Malthouse production of German playwright Marius von Mayenburg’s Moving Target [review p10] which, with child-like glee, gets into the minds of often childish adults terrified by their mysterious offspring. In an interview [p13], von Mayenburg ponders the current focus on children as victims. In his play he reverses this expectation in a series of shocking twists. In his ASSITEJ 2008 international festival of performing arts for young audiences, artistic director Jason Cross has programmed some works not originally designed for children, challenging the notion of ‘appropriacy’, while staging others that profoundly evoke the open imagination of the child [p14]. The image on this page is of the central figure in Goodbye Mr Muffin, a Danish production in ASSITEJ 2008 for children 6 years and up about coping with death, in this case of an aging pet. Cross sees a play like this as being as much for adults as children. In Elissa Downe’s successful new Australian feature film, The Black Balloon, an adolescent struggles with his sense of responsibility for his autistic brother. In Hard Rubbish, directed by Adam Lemmey and nominated in nine categories in the 2008 South Australian Short Screen Awards [p26], an 11-year-old girl throws out her embarrassing family with the rubbish. At the 2008 NOW now improvised music festival, Ross Bolleter, an artist who has turned the playing of ruined and near dead pianos into an artform, introduced child players to its pleasures [p41]. Anything is possible.

RealTime issue #84 April-May 2008 pg. 1

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