Children’s Theatre

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK A ‘GIANT’ FAMILY MUSICAL SPECTACULAR PANTO @ THE STATE THEATRE

Bonnie Lythgoe Productions presents Jack and the Beanstalk – a “Giant” 3D Family Musical Spectacular Panto. Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, this colourful and family friendly production is full of audience participation, hilarious caricatures, and the most satisfying of corny dad jokes and slapstick comedy. The witty script, written by Christopher Wood, also contains a surprisingly titillating and cheeky streak of adult humour to keep the 18+ ‘kids’ engaged and entertained. Cultural references abound including a random guest appearance of dancing “Minions” (from the movie “Despicable Me”) in the second act.

Opening with disco ball laser effects that reach out across the large auditorium, the curtain rises on Christopher Wood’s colourful, fluorescent painted set of orange, green and hot pink. This glow in the dark design extends throughout the many flown set changes and the ensembles costumes.  Continue reading JACK AND THE BEANSTALK A ‘GIANT’ FAMILY MUSICAL SPECTACULAR PANTO @ THE STATE THEATRE

BILLIONAIRE BOY : A STORY ABOUT LOVE AND THE THINGS MONEY CAN’T BUY

David  Walliams novel BILLIONAIRE BOY follows a 12-year-old boy named Joe who has everything he could ever want, from a golden underwater Ferrari to his very own cinema! Joe and his Dad have more money than you could imagine, but what Joe really needs is a friend. When Joe arrives at his new school, life gets tough. Facing the school bully, his Dad’s new girlfriend and the world’s worst school canteen, Joe is about to learn that money might buy you a lot, but it can’t buy you everything.

Featuring a talented cast of five, Billionaire Boy explores important social issues such as bullying, relationships and self-esteem through comedy, songs, loveable characters and lots of laughs.

Walliams novels have taken the children’s literary world by storm, with his bestselling novels being translated into over 40 languages and having sold over ten million copies in the UK alone.

Now BILLIONAIRE BOY, one of his most popular novels, has been adapted for the stage by playwright Maryann Master. It is being brought to life on the stage at  the Riverside Theatres , the Concourse in Chatswood and the Seymour Centre during the month of March. 

The play is suitable for ages 6+ and has a running time of 60 minutes.  Here are the full details of the performances :-

When: Saturday 9th March 2019

Where: Riverside Theatres – cnr Church and Market Streets, Parramatta

Tickets: $29 from www.riversideparramatta.com.au or from the Box Office (02) 8839 3399

 

When: Tuesday 12th to Thursday 14th March 2019

Where: The Concourse – 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood

Tickets: $44 from www.theconcourse.com.au or from the Box Office (02) 8075 8111

 

When: Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March 2019

Where: Seymour Centre – corner of City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale

Tickets: $38 from www.seymourcentre.com or from the Box Office (02) 9351 7940

 

MUSICAL ISLAND: SYDNEY KIDS SAVE IT FROM SILENCE AT THE FRINGE

MUSICAL ISLAND: A SILENT SPELL will have its world premiere at the Sydney Fringe.

Magic Sounds Productions are shaking up Sydney’s theatre scene with a boisterous blend of digital animation and live action performances.  MUSICAL ISLAND: A SILENT SPELL is an original  musical to bring smiles and magic melodies to miniature maestros, kidults and the young at heart alike! Continue reading MUSICAL ISLAND: SYDNEY KIDS SAVE IT FROM SILENCE AT THE FRINGE

DIARY OF A WOMBAT: MONKEY BAA RAISES FUNDS TO SEND MOTHBALL O/S

Monkey Baa’s award-winning production of Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s DIARY OF A WOMBAT  has been an incredible success  but that presents a new challenge for the beloved company.

DIARY OF A WOMBAT  has been selected to present at the prestigious 40th Anniversary Showcase at the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) in Philadelphia in January 2018.   Continue reading DIARY OF A WOMBAT: MONKEY BAA RAISES FUNDS TO SEND MOTHBALL O/S

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: CURIOUSER AND WONDERFULLER

“Alice is Awesome” said Alice.  “Alice, you’re awesome” said I to Alice.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND is intergenerational theatre crafted with care and performed with joy.   It is an offering received with the love of immersion and the thrill of total involvement in a world of imagination.   And wonderfullest of all, it’s home-grown. Continue reading ALICE IN WONDERLAND: CURIOUSER AND WONDERFULLER

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

Follow us down the rabbit hole for a madcap ride! ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been reinvented with a unique Australian flavour and will have children and adults alike whooping in delight.

For over 150 years Alice in Wonderland has captured the imaginations of children all over the world, and now returns in a fresh, exciting and all new Australian adaptation for the whole family.

Lewis Carroll’s whirling, fantastical masterpiece is faithfully and beautifully recreated as a nonstop, madcap theatrical adventure for the whole family. See the classic kids’ tale in an all new Australian adaptation by multi award-winning playwright Mary Anne Butler, starring Dubs Yunupingu as Alice.

As part of Sydney Festival, this wonderful show, from the producer of the critically acclaimed and immensely popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar, will have its world premiere at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, 5-27 January 2018

For more about Alice in Wonderland – a theatrical adventure for the whole family, visit http://www.aliceinwonderlandlive.com
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THE YOUNG KING: SLINGSBY AT SOH

THE YOUNG KING – a tremendous production by Slingsby at the Sydney Opera House

This is a magical, inspired production that had the young children enthralled (and adults too) .  It is an interactive immersive production devised by the wonderful Slingsby company based in Adelaide.

Sensitively adapted by playwright Nicki Bloom (Tender, The Sun and Other Stars, Little Bird), the production is based on Oscar Wilde’s classic story , first published in 1891 , and retains some of Wilde’s magnetic, hypnotic, lush language. Memorable , tantalizing ,lyrical descriptions of snaking perfumes of jasmine, and of pearls shaped like the full moon and brighter than the morning star are provided .

As we enter there are harassed but welcoming busy courtiers , mysterious chambers , curious installations to examine and secret compartments , the only sound the relentless ticking of a clock , on the journey to the Young King’s coronation. There’s instructions involving a secret, directions as to how to greet the king, your card checked, a slight interlude while waiting in ‘the first chamber’ to enter and then we get to make a cardboard crown and take our seat .

Are you an Industrious Denizen of the South ? A Rough Fisher folk of the North? Come from the gruff Forest Folk of the East ? Or a Gritty Prospector of the West ? We are welcomed and the various gifts from the people arriving from the four directions presented and displayed before being carefully taken for safekeeping, (much fun with the last one where ‘pass the parcel ‘ and messages are included in the many layers of wrapping) .

It is the story of an art-loving princess who rebels against her traditionalist father the Old King; and of her son, raised in the forest by goatherds who is revealed to be the heir to the kingdom. Unaware of his birthright, fate eventually catches up with the young man , removing him from his idyllic forest to the palace to assume his royal duties.

As a quest ensues for treasures to create his robes, crown and sceptre, the boy faces a series of meditations and internal struggles as revealed by three dreams . Privilege and treasures are laid at his feet – but at what cost to others ? The three dreams – of the looms, of the diving for pearls , of the battle between Death and Avarice – are vividly brought to life. The Young King’s eventual rejection of the oppressive structures of feudalism rocks the Kingdom to its core.

Wendy Todd’s wonderfully seemingly simple but fabulously intricate set — a wooden fireplace of panelled walls — has various incredibly detailed secret compartments that slide in/out or open , containing fascinating objects, and an element of surprise.

The specially commissioned, wonderfully atmospheric score, at times rollicking , at times piercing beautiful and lyrical , is by Quincy Grant who accompanies the action live on several instruments, including piano and clarinet . The delicate ,extremely effective , atmospheric lighting by Geoff Cobham (fashioning everything from gleam of gold to the soft glow of jewels ) is beautifully incorporated.

Tim Overton and Jacqy Phillips narrate the story and act the cast of thousands and are also splendid at shadow play, torches , and puppetry .( think sort of a blend of Theatre of Image and 1927 perhaps ) .

They’re terrific together — Overton as the young fresh faced king with boyish charm : he is wide eyed with wonder and curiosity , awed by the beautiful objects and his robe for the coronation , but saddened to discover the hardships suffered to obtain them . As Death he is far more sinister with thrilling use of torches and shadows . Phillips in theatrical black is grumpy , cantankerous and scary as the Old King and as Avarice in the battle between Avarice and Death.

The transformation scene at the end is poignant and lyrical , Wilde’s moral tale still extremely relevant today.

THE YOUNG KING runs at the Sydney Opera House 11-12 November 2017.  For more information visit:

https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/past-events/Kids-and-Families/2017/the-young-king.html

THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’ @ THE MERRIGONG THEATRE

As an adult chaperoning a small human to a kid’s comedy show, you don’t have high hopes of enjoying yourself. At best, you can hope to receive some second-hand joy watching the ecstatic faces of the children you broughtknowing you have just become their coolest guardian. Alternatively, you can hope the show will encourage you to peg huge boogers at its presenterswhich is precisely how THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’ had me spending my Friday night; and yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’, Richard Higgins and Matthew Kelly (both former adult comedians- turned children) bring their eponymous comedy book to the stagean unfactual encyclopedia of hilarious, entirely made-up (and almost-always-poo-related) compound words. From being ‘fartled’ to accidentally entering ‘nose-go zone’, these new words and their expertly formed definitions finally address some of the Macquarie Dictionary’s shortcomings. Continue reading THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’ @ THE MERRIGONG THEATRE

JUNGLE BOOK, THE MUSICAL RETURNS TO KING STREET THEATRE

“Markus Weber and Michael Summ’s version of The Jungle Book is a beautifully-written musical derived from Rudyard Kipling’s famed writings.” Suzy Wrong, Suzy Goes See, April 2014

“With great songs and a meaningful story, excellent production, acting, lighting and sound – the Jungle Book can appeal to both children and adults.” Linda Moon, Weekend Notes, January 2016

JUNGLE BOOK – THE MUSICAL is back at King Street Theatre for the school holidays.

Based on the beloved stories by Rudyard Kipling, Artistic Director/Intendant of KING STREET THEATRE, Markus Weber and Michael Summ’s production of Jungle Book – The Musical will delight audiences once again during the Easter School holidays.           Continue reading JUNGLE BOOK, THE MUSICAL RETURNS TO KING STREET THEATRE

MONKEY BAA BRINGS A CLASSIC AUSTRALIAN KIDS STORY VIVIDLY TO LIFE

Featured image: Puppeteers Michael Cullen, Shondelle Pratt  and Julia Ohannessian with the sleeping Mothball. 

Jackie French’s book Diary of a Wombat bounded boldly into Australian family life in 2002. It nestled itself with a unique exclamation into thousands of young Australians’ bedroom bookshelves. Who better exists in children’s theatre circles than director Eva Di Cesare and the insightful Monkey Baa team to respectfully transform this classic to the stage for the 3+age group?

In doing so the Monkey Baa creatives and assembled performers ensure this age group and the rest of us appreciate the possibilities of a live performance medium to portray this character rather than film or one of many modern electronic alternatives.

For children and adults making the trip to the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre, Mothball The Wombat’s innocence, flatulence, curiosity and daily insatiable urge for experimentation with human food are delightfully captured in the action. Through the use of 3D plush puppets manipulated by visible on-stage puppeteers, Bruce Whatley’s fine book illustrations of Mothball’s tirade are greatly enhanced. Continue reading MONKEY BAA BRINGS A CLASSIC AUSTRALIAN KIDS STORY VIVIDLY TO LIFE

KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL – Australian Premiere @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

Playwright/Director Markus Weber and Composer Michael Summ, have created KOALA JOE, a new musical journey driven by the spirit of The Dreamtime.

Joe, a homesick Australian boy, lives in a boarding school located above the snowline in Austria, and he is training to be a downhill skier.

Whilst asleep, a mysterious messenger from The Dreamtime visits Joe,  “I am Yalunda – daughter of the Great Mother Eingana, who once created everything. I am the water, the rocks, and the trees. I am a bird, a koala, a kangaroo and an emu too. I am the ancient bow, Toon and the Boomerang. I am Yalunda your sister and Yoola your brother too.” Continue reading KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL – Australian Premiere @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN