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October 12, 2009 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

The Ant and the Grasshopper


Theatre for children is very much of a form. You go in knowing what you’re getting and really all you can hope is that it is done well. And, to get it out of the way, The Ant and The Grasshopper, the latest production from Kidzstuff theatre, does it well. Really well. Like super well. It is nice, crunchy, well-crafted show-time for the kiddy-winks. The acting was full of life and infinitely watchable, sharing the fun with their target audience and never condescending. The script is witty and quick, shooting along with a smile. The direction was creative and simple. Everyone involved should be extremely proud.

Now, on to the crux of the matter, which, as in most cases, is socialism.

This production of The Ant and The Grasshopper was a gloriously excoriating attack on the militant, destructive bourgeoisies and their repression of the artesian and proletariat.
The cruel upper classes, here represented by the distinctly fascist ants, force their workers to strip-mine the land for resources. This is driven home by their Reifenstahl-inflected anthem ‘Find Food’. Their insatiable, capitalistic urge to over-consume and take all of the land’s resources leads them directly to their overt repression of the creative grasshopper. He is simply attempting to live a life as a creative, making music wherever he goes. Under the ants’ totalitarian regimen—one so disgusting that the audience are encouraged to ‘wriggle and squirm’ in, presumably disgust, at it – there is no way for non “essential” work to be done at the same time as being sustainable. He is literally forced by the audience to have to beg the ants to allow him to live, since their jackbooted Randian madness simply excludes the possibility of living off of art, and when they finally relent the only work he can be offered is distracting the the ants’ slaves from the indeterminable toil of their lives.

I may be reading between the lines a little, but really, it’s never too early to radicalise children, is it?

The Ant and The Grasshopper
Written by Sarah Somerville
Directed by Richard Dey
With Nick Zwart, Deborah Rea and Jessica Robinson
At 4 Moncrieff St, Mt Vic
26 Sept – 10 Oct 2009


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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  1. Electrum Stardust says:

    “When I was young, my parents read me Aesop’s fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” wherein, as everyone knows, the grasshopper spends the sum­mer making music in the sun while the ant toils with his fellow formicidae. Inevitably, […]”

    “[…] A man untroubled by the imagina­tion, or by an awareness of human frailty. A leader wonderfully attuned (though one doubted he could ever articulate it) to “today’s swift pace”; to the necessity of forging a new patriotism; to the idea of war as “the necessary and bloody test of a people’s force”; to the all-conquering beauty of Business.”

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