The Arrival

Adapted from the award winning graphic novel by Shaun Tan, The Arrival follows the story of a man starting a new life amidst the extraordinary inhabitants of his new land.

A man flees his homeland and journeys across vast seas to arrive in a strange, wondrous new world where giant ships fly through the air and curious creatures abound. There he negotiates dazzling architecture, bizarre foods and foreign tongues to build a new life. On his travels, the man meets fellow sympathetic strangers, each with their own tales to tell.

Tan’s wordless novel lends itself perfectly to the use of puppetry and physical theatre to tell a story, emphasising the isolating experience everyone feels when arriving in a strange, new place. The beautifully illustrated work is accurately brought to life on stage through breathtaking sets, whimsical puppets and props, as well as a remarkable soundscape.

Like Tan’s book, this is an emotionally moving production; a tribute to migrants, refugees and displaced people worldwide. It’s a pertinent story of overcoming hardship, of humanity and of hope. The Arrival will touch anyone who has ever had to start anew or bid farewell to a loved one.

Out of the Box festival offers opportunities for children to engage in arts-rich experiences to explore and extend in-class literacy and learning. Teachers can deepen their student’s engagement with and experience of the festival by talking to them about the different in-theatre experiences, workshops and activities before, during and after their day.

To help with this, the Out of the Box festival team has prepared numerous Creative Learning Guides which link the in-theatre experiences, activities and workshops at the festival with the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum (Version 8). Key messages, learning activities and other resources are also included.

The Creative Learning Guide for The Arrival can be downloaded here

QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival presents
The Arrival
A Red Leap Production in association with Out of the Box and UNICEF AUSTRALIA
An adaptation of the graphic novel by Shaun Tan


The Arrival is world class; one of the best examples of its kind you’ll ever see.

Janet McAllister , NZ Herald