A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings - Photo: Ste Murray

“There isn’t a message, so don’t go looking for one” we are warned near the beginning of this stage adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s story.

Whether that is quite true is a moot point, when this 45 minute straight production is best treated as the most delicious confection; a story beautifully told and charmingly staged. Don’t go spoiling it with thinking, just go along for the ride.

Not that director Dan Colley’s vision is anything less than smart, multi-layered, and adept at pulling out the many allegories in Marquez’s tale, which was originally pitched as for children but has plenty to offer adults.

Amongst the dark humour of a scared couple considering clubbing a potential angel to death, or setting him adrift on a raft with a few days provisions, there are sharp asides at the wisdom of crowds, the shaky grip of conventional authority, the imbalances of capitalism, and our capacity for wonder. There are also impressions of overly-aggressive chickens, live vocal harmonies, and some intense Go Pro filming.

Aidan Crowe and Karen McCartney bring this all to life both directly through their storytelling, physicality, and singing, and through models, small scale sets, and various puppetry techniques. They appear unassuming, almost nervous at first, but these are wonderful assured performances.

It’s not often I leave a show, however outstanding, without the critic’s note of something that might have been tweaked to make it just a little bit better. Not this time. This was just perfect.