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Live Event


The fairytale experience


There’s magic in the air again at the Netherland’s fairy-tale theme park, Efteling. CARO is the park’s newest production and the first of its kind to feature at the on-site theatre, detailing a modern-era fairy-tale packed with dance, music, and acrobatics galore. CARO was inspired by the park’s 100-year-old carousel, Stoomcarrousel, and Park World went along for the ride...


The visually-led production was launched as part of Efteling’s strategy to further internationalise the park and boost the number of guests from overseas– aiming for 5m visitors per year by 2020. This increase has been driven by significant investments made in the park in 2017 including the launch of the new family dark ride Symbolica and the opening of its third accommodation offering, Holiday Village Efteling Loonsche Land.


production “words are superfluous”. CARO achieves this by utilising the instantly recognisable


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carousel as its motif, a symbol that inspired the production’s name, set design, and unique plot. Audience members will recognise themes from their own childhoods as they play out on the revolving stage, mimicking the cyclical nature of life’s ups and downs. Park World spoke to CARO’s director Stanley Burleson, who explained that each part of the production was a carefully considered process. The set design was made entirely in-house, and visuals and AV effects were also produced by the CARO crew, including the stunning water screen sequences. “Choreographing water to music was a challenge,” Burleson told Park World. “it took a lot of work to get the technical details hammered down – like finding the right shoes for the cast to wear so they wouldn’t slip. It’s like Singing in the Rain every night!” CARO follows Oskar and his various, younger,


iterations as he looks back over his life. An adult’s nostalgia is combined with the unfettered imagination of a child, and youths is particularly well represented in the production, with a broad cast of talented child performers and teenage acrobats. Together, the ensemble tackle seemingly “normal” life events with a view to celebrating the extraordinary in the ordinary,


56 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


fteling’s newest offering launched in September 2018, and was created from the ground up for audiences from overseas, and touts that during the 75-minute


covering childhood, romance and love, and parenthood, as well as death and illness. “In some ways it was easier to share emotion without the


barriers and fixed definitions of language,” Burleson explained, commending CARO’s cast and crew for their part in creating the show’s deliberately amorphous narration. “We used music, movement, and the memories of the audience to create something with the impact of a ballet. We want the audience to make their own text – we want them to create their own story.”


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