Ever since 1927 first toured Down Under in 2008 with its inaugural production Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, the London-based theatre group has charmed Australian audiences with its signature blend of actors, live music and handcrafted, vintage-style animation and film.

Roots 1927’s Roots. Photo © Leigh Webber

Founded in 2005 by writer, performer and director Suzanne Andrade and animator and illustrator Paul Barritt, 1927’s work draws on an aesthetic that harks back to the silent era (their name is taken from the year the talkies were introduced). Taking around two years to create, their wonderfully inventive shows are droll, sharp-witted, and an intoxicating visual delight.

Following that first visit, 1927 has visited Australia with The Animals and the Children Took to the Streetsand Golem, while the internationally successful production of The Magic Flute that they created with Barrie Kosky for Komische Oper Berlin was a triumph at this year’s Perth and AdelaideFestivals.

Now the company is performing its latest show Roots at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, after seasons at the Spoleto Festival USA in May, where it premiered, and the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in August.

Written by Andrade,...