It is no mean feat to create a show that can be enjoyed both youths and not as youthful, and to strike a balance in being informative, educational and entertaining.
But Amphibian does exactly that in spades.
Written by Duncan Graham and directed by Sasha Zahra, Amphibian follows the story of students Hassan (Antony Makhlouf) and Chloe (Maiah Stewardson) who are sent from the classroom because they are both under suspicion for stealing money from the teacher while feeding the class Axolotl.
Each child is from a very different world, yet are brought together to find they have a lot more in common than they think.
Forced by their parents to leave their respective homes and face life as the new kid at school, Chloe and Hassan are facing similar struggles, which go a lot further than who stole the money and whether the Axolotl should be being fed iodine.
Exploring themes of displacement, loss, and adapting to different worlds, Amphibian is funny, moving story wonderfully told through affecting performances by both actors.
Antony Makhlouf is authentic and engaging as Hassan and brings a genuine warmth to the role.
Maiah Stewardson is an absolute stand out – playing Chloe while seamlessly morphing into Janet, Delara, Katy Perry and an old woman.
Maiah is a natural talent and for someone so young showed an incredible stage presence, exhibiting a breadth technique and versatility.
The important ideas in Amphibian are thoughtfully considered through a well crafted script and excellent direction.
The set was simple, yet effective and transitioned the scenes easily, allowing the audience to suspend disbelief and immerse themselves in the material, and the use of lighting and effects moved the characters between situations nicely.
Amphibian is an absolute must see for all ages.