REVIEW: Charlie Pilgrim
Reviewed by Lara Franzi
Kids who crave a bit of adventure, come jump into an infinitive time loop with a couple of Charlies: another charming performance written by Sam O’Sullivan, who is paving his way through theatre and film by creating and acting. He lends us this quirky and crafty play for kids, which is a part of the ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) program involving young actors on stage.
Charlie Pilgrim is an engaging play that picks up a positive message intended to nourish a young audience. The Charlies face many different sides of themselves, their personalities divided into 16 different Charlie Pilgrims. The play creates a chaotic view as the 16 different characters try to reverse time.
This play really reminds us of the imagination and wonder that children face as they experience everything new about the universe - learning so much in so little time while their imagination is running wild. It reminds us that we have different feelings that conflict one other; we can be aggressive, responsible, clinical, nervous, sad or silly, and still be the same person. O’Sullivan encourages us to live along with these emotions and to be aware of how they impact other people.
Connecting everything together is Director Jena Prince who takes onboard O’Sullivan’s refined theory of time travel, and projects this through the characters’ subtle interactions with the set. This play hasn’t been simplified, instead it pushes forth humankind’s understanding to really inspire a young audience about what can be possible.
What stood out about this play for me was the mediation to better understand yourself. This really sums up the importance and practice of learning to live with how you think and feel. Mediation can be such a difficult thing to do, primarily because of how restrained yet relaxed you need to be. But it can be a way to check in with your feelings and allow you to understand your emotions and the reasons behind them.
Charlie Pilgrim invests in a strong idea of cooperation. It’s about communicating and realising how your attitude, behaviours and words can greatly affect others. By bringing 16 Charlies into this world, we can see that we don’t always have to feel alone, since we have ourselves and our memories. I’ve learnt that the fastest and safest way to time travel is through our own memories.
I need to say that it was amazingly satisfying seeing all those ‘self’ puns finally being used properly - as we shouldn’t “be beating ourselves up”.
This crazy play is a beautiful example of our very young and capable actors, who are totally confident using words out of this world. They brought complete believability to their dialogue and actions. Even with 16 Charlie Pilgrims, we still see their individualities through their unique personalities. These performers keep you swept up in the momentum of the play, taking us back to our childhood and our unrestricted imagination.