The Parks Theatre
Until 11 Mar 2019

Review by Kylie Pedler

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

Sadako Sasaki was two when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Two kilometres away, it appeared that Sadako was unaffected by the A-bomb while her grandma and neighbours died. A happy youthful child, Sadako had friends and big dreams of being an amazing runner. However, at age 12 she became ill and was diagnosed with leukemia—a quick reminder that actions have long-term, sometimes unnoticed consequences. While capturing the story of a young girl from the past, the play’s message is as relevant then as it is today. “The bomb continues to fall. It’s falling right now.”

Cleverly brought to life on a rotating stage by director/choreographer Sarah Williams, this production is poignant and inspiring and very relevant for the younger audience present on opening night. Sadako’s story is beautiful and sad. But told sensitively through a harmonious blend of lyrical dance, aerial and acrobatic skills, haunting music and storytelling it gently opens the door for discussions on deeper issues such as war and destruction.

Maddy Flapper as Sadako is outstanding, capturing the innocence of childhood, the fear and pain of illness and her hopes and dreams for the future. Her aerial representation of the ‘monumental crane’, Sadako’s symbol of peace is breathtaking. Calin Diamond as Kenji is agile and amusing as he mocks Sadako pretending to be a frog. Together they interact beautifully, moving effortlessly from dialogue to dance. The other cast members (Jess Goc-ong, Arwen Diamond and Iman Saleh) play important supporting roles, as mother, father and grandmother as well as playing the music.

Although Sadako never fulfilled her wish to fold 1000 cranes, her story lives on, as does her power to remind us that we must work together for peace.

Rating 3.5 stars (out of 5)