This is .a fine Barking Gecko Theatre Company production, a stage adaptation by Don Giovannoni and director Luke Kerridge of the novella by Reinhardt Jung. It makes for great family entertainment.
Bambert is an impossibly small man with an enormous, insatiable love for writing. He was born with a growth condition which he had surgeries for which were unsuccessful. In the stage adaptation his character is played by a .puppet.
He spends his time inside, in his attic, writing and being with his characters. He also communicates with his downstairs neighbour Mr Bloom who runs a grocery store and is very supportive of his writing. A spiral staircase joins upstairs and downstairs.
Bambert sends his stories down to Mr Bloom by way of a very cute little lift, another conduit between the two of them. Mr Bloom retrieves them and then the stories are vividly enacted on stage.
Bambert gave instructions that whoever receives the stories has to write back to them so that he can work out how far his stories have travelled. It is here that Mr Bloom does a bit of sleight of hand, he has a .collection of stamps from around the world and he returns Bambert’s stories as if they have travelled the world.
Thankfully Bambert never discovered Mr Bloom’s deception though he almost does when he makes a surprise drop in visit on him. Mr Bloom quickly gets him back in the lift.
This was fanciful, whimsical theatre. Igor Sas gave a very warm, appealing performance as Mr Bloom. The puppetry work was excellent. Puppeteers and story characters were played by St John Cowcher, Nick Maclaine, Amanda McGregor and Alex Aldrich.
Jonathon Oxlade’s set and costumes were very effective. Oxlade’s set focused on Mr Bloom’s grocer shop, decked out with cans of food, soft drinks, an old radio and telephone, and what appeared to be a fish tank.
Recommended for kids of all ages, and a tribute to the power of stories to improve our world, We all long for stories which write themselves. You will have to see the show to understand what this means. BAMBERT’S BOOK OF LOST STORIES is playing the Studio theatre at the Sydney Opera House until Saturday 6th October 2018.