21 July 2023


Well this was unexpected!  I'm in Adelaide visiting family.  It was early afternoon and I had an hour to kill and I strolled across the road to see what's on at the concert hall at the Norwood Town Hall and the door slid open (usually locked) and the lady inside invited me to an event. What, I didn't know.  How long?  An hour.  She was about to close the doors.  Ticket, no worries, just come in.   What is it?  She'd tell me afterwards.  Ah, why not?  I entered to a smallish theatre set to find lots of primary aged kids sitting on the floor in red hats and a string of mothers around the perimeter and something about to commence.  Then a moral tale, obviously suitable and written for kids, of a hunter's son who receives a knife passed down through the family and goes on his first golden fox hunt, then through a series of adventures and encounters and characters and life lessons and a final act of saving his by-then golden fox mate from his father's hunt only to again encounter the dreaded Wommolly.  There were themes of survival and its demands and experiencing the world outside (a theme in the zeitgeist with the Barbie film) and "love conquers all".  I enjoyed it as did the kids and very much admired the music and the themes.  But this was not just a play, but musical theatre.  It had several feature solo songs were really good, nicely apt in style, and one that blew me out with a glorious melody as in the best musicals and background orchestral instrumental music that was involving and interesting.  No program so throughout I was wondering what was this work.  I met up with my host on leaving and found that this was an original work written by the fox himself.  Wow, impressed!  The work was The Boy with the Golden Fox written by Benji Riggs and performed by the Flying Elephant Company.  It was premiered in 2022 and is now seeking to tour schools throughout Australia.  Playwright/composer Benji Riggs has an interesting bio, having studied in the UK at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts and performed with State Opera of SA and The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival let alone the World Children's Theatre Ensemble and the African Children's Choir.  He's also written another children's musical and works for string quartet and founded the Flying Elephant Company.  And he offers a recording studio and mixing/mastering.  Impressed.  In the meantime, I had an amusing and satisfying hour enjoying a fantasy moral tale for kids.  Yep, unexpected but time that was not at all wasted.

The Boy with the Golden Fox was written by Benji Riggs and performed by the Flying Elephant Company at the Don Pyatt Hall at the Norwood Concert Hall (prev. Norwood Town Hall).

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