By Arno Cornelissen
Cara Roberts walks onto the stage. Right before my eyes, my deepest fears come to life; children. However, at the end of the 50-minute performance, I realise The King of Broken Things was something I needed in my life.
With time, I realise that a kid is just that, a kid. As the show unfolds, we begin to understand why the boy is the way he is and why he clings so feverishly to believing in his imagination. It should come as no shock that this production is a recent winner of three International Awards at the Dolphin International Puppet Festival and 2020 Gold Ovation Award winner at the Virtual National Arts Festival.
The themes and messages in the play channel a childlike wonder. As a parent, Michael Taylor-Broderick (writer and director) has the privilege of partially seeing what children see and believe. This translates into a script and a character that embodies a childlike innocence. Between the character’s ramblings, there are meaningful, fresh takes on the world, its problems, and the most straightforward solutions to complicated matters.
I am grateful to have pushed through the inherent impatience and dismissive attitude toward the child’s insights. Be patient and listen; there is wisdom in his reactions to our absurd world. In the words of the wise King of broken things, “expose [childrens]hearts to the light.” We often forget that we were children, too.
The King of Broken Things provides the perfect opportunity to be gentle with yourself, and with young minds. It acts as a wonderful exercise, in practising patience and love. Let go, and watch the magical results that blossom.
It will be a shame, if not a deadly blow to humanity, if we lose the magic of finding the treasures in the cracks. There is magic in everything. We just need to learn to see the light in the broken things. The King of Broken Things is on at Victoria Theatre until 2 July.