I love going to the theatre and having my children experience the magic of stage shows is a joy too. I recently took my seven-year-old to see the show, “Beetle“. Beetle is a show about a Christmas Beetle, Simon who learns that he is the last Christmas Beetle. He is very sad and decides he cannot be the last beetle and goes on a search for his family with the help of Sally who is a young girl that lives in the house that has the tree where Simon the Christmas Beetle lives.
The show was at the PHIVE in Parramatta and I had never been there before. We went down to the basement and there was a great small theatre, as we entered I was told we could sit anywhere and Alexander my seven year old was told he could sit on lillypad (otherwise known as a cushion), in fact, all kids were on the floor on their own lillypad or just sitting on the floor. It was so nice that they got to be upfront and close to the action of the show.
“Beetle” is centred around a tree in Sally’s backyard. The tree looks old and not in great condition. Sally comes out with an insect catcher to try and catch the Christmas Beetle that she has seen climbing all over the tree.
Sally ends up befriending the Christmas beetle and helps the beetle, whom she calls Simon.
Both Simon and Sally seem to travel in time by falling into the tree and revealing a younger and healthier tree. During their travels, they meet the following animals:
- A stick insect – Simon and Sally encountered the stick insect when they fell back in time to when the tree was much younger. They were both lost and had no idea where they were. The stick insect is on stilts and looks amazing and is very much a HUGE insect. The insect gets their attention by tapping them with their very long leg (or you could say arm). The stick insect tells them that the tree is home and Simon and Sally are very confused as it doesn’t look the same.
- A turkey – On Simon and Sally’s travels to find Simonn’s family and also a way home for Sally they both encounter a bush turkey. The person who plays the turkey was amazing, she did slow-motion fights over Sally taking her feathers and it was so amazing to watch. The kids loved it, and I must say so did the adults.
- A worm – During Simon and Sally’s journey they come across a worm, which was created by a puppeteer, the worm seems to float in the air in the dark and is highlighted at times by black lights to make things glow. There were also amazing lights that looked like lasers that had a stunning effect.
One of the highlights was when Sally was running up the tree to get back to her own time and home. She of course was strapped in with a harness but looked like she was running on the tree and even bent backwards. Sally jumped over videos of trees and branches falling and it was a great visual effect.
The stage didn’t change other than some images that were projected on the background and on the tree. It didn’t matter and it was like you were transported to whatever world that the actors were in.
My little seven-year-old was mesmerised from start to finish. He finds it hard to keep focused during shows and this one was absorbing and interesting for him – he sat still during the whole show!
I loved the message that simple things that individuals can do can help the environment and animals. Looking after trees, planting more and taking more care to not hurt our space is essential. The play ends with a good message, that we need to care and do more to protect our environment. Sally has the seed from the dying tree and decides to plant it in her garden, she would like to see more Christmas Beetles make her garden their home too.
More info about Beetle
Where: PHIVE – Discovery Centre, 5 Parramatta Square
|Wednesday, 27th September||11:00 am|
|Thursday, 28th September||11:00 am|
|Friday, 29th September||11:00 am|
|Saturday, 30th September||11:00 am||2:00 pm|
|Sunday, 1st October||11:00 am|
Cost: From $27.50, buy tickets here
Duration: Approx. 41 minutes
Recommended ages: 5 -12
When I was little I lived in North Queensland and every Christmas we had a lot of Christmas Beetles in our garden and tried to make it into our house, when I was older and living in Sydney in the inner city I still had Christmas Beetles come around Christmas time. Now living in the Blue Mountains for over 20 years we only see a few Christmas Beetles and sometimes none.
During the show, I was thinking about how sad it was that we had seen such a decline in Christmas Beetles. This decline is due to the Christmas Beetles losing their habitats and now we have replaced nature with a concrete jungle.
One of the joys of seeing Christmas Beetles each summer was being amazed at the fantastic colours each one had and how they glowed and seemed to reflect. I was in awe of them and thought they were very magical. It is such a pity that my children will not have the same wonder that I did seeing these colourful beetles.
“The adults need eucalypt leaves, and the larvae need the roots of grasses, presumably native grasses. An important habitat for them, the Cumberland Plain woodland, was once widespread in Western Sydney, but less than 10% remains”The Australian Museum – https://australian.museum/learn/animals/insects/christmas-beetles/
Thank you PHIVE for the tickets we really enjoyed ourselves and loved the show.
If you want to take your kids to a creative theatre show make sure to go to Beetle